Susie Duncan Sexton will be appearing today from 11:00-2:00pm at The Bookmark, 3420 North Anthony Boulevard, Fort Wayne, Indiana as part of the first installment of their 2013 Author Series. Stop by and say hello, grab a copy of Secrets of an Old Typewriter by Susie Duncan Sexton and learn about its sequel More Secrets of an Old Typewriter! http://www.thebookmark.net/
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, author of The Woman Who Lost China, will address the topic of Recreating China and writing historical fiction set in this fascinating and complex country today at 10:00am at Readers’ Day at Nottingham City Libraries. Learn more about the book at http://www.open-bks.com/library/moderns/the-woman-who-lost-china/about-book.html
Learn more about the event at http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/readersday
Tomorrow at 5:15pm to 6.30pm author Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang guest lectures “The Woman Who Lost China - The Untold Story” at The Department of Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Si Yuan Building, A18. The lecture is free and open to the public. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/chinese/news-events/events/china-seminar-2013-10-15.aspx
Jet-setter Prof. Travels to London for MAMELUKE BATH Book Launch Party
The book launch party for Mameluke Bath by Andrew Asibong on 19 September at Big Green Bookshop in London attracted many interesting attendees including a radical local clergyman, a transgressive performance artist, and a groundbreaking filmmaker. One of the attendees, Professor Anne Martine Parent from UQAC in Canada, travelled all the way from Quebec to London to attend the event. Following is her account of the festivities.
Photo by Eleanor Bowen-Jones
A professor of contemporary literature and literary theory, I travelled all the way from Chicoutimi in Quebec, Canada, in order to attend the launch in North London of Andrew Asibong’s debut novel, Mameluke Bath, as part of a wider research trip in Europe, and I was not disappointed. This was a remarkable evening. Not only did it take place in a friendly, bustling, exciting area of town (Turnpike Lane-Wood Green in the borough of Haringey), but the venue itself, the Big Green Bookshop, is an interesting and admirable independent bookseller which is well worth knowing about.
Over sixty people turned up to celebrate the ‘birth’ of Asibong’s bizarre, challenging and fantastical book (my 5-star review of which appears in Goodreads and Amazon Canada), and it was a motley assembly indeed, perfectly in keeping with the horizontal, postmodern and uncategorizable vibe of Mameluke Bath itself: London and Oxford academics mingled with Tottenham anarchists, Belgian radical feminists rubbed shoulders with a German scholar in trauma and empathy studies and a Spanish analyst of Golden Age portraiture of the African enslaved. The radical local clergyman, Rev Paul Nicolson (at the forefront of the campaign against the government-led British social cleansing Benefit Cap), was in attendance, and I also noticed the transgressive performance artist Susannah Hewlett and the groundbreaking filmmaker Ron Peck, director of such classics as Nighthawks and Fighters.
The whole evening was warmly hosted by acclaimed graphic novelist Hannah Eaton, author of the frightening and amazing Naming Monsters. When you’ve read Mameluke Bath, with its weird, confrontational fascination for politics, gender, horror, humiliation, ‘race’, spirituality and ethics, it’s not difficult to see why so many different people should have an investment in the same novel. But it’s still remarkable.
David Ross, publisher at Open Books was beamed in live on Skype to introduce the book and explain why he’d wanted to acquire it; filmmaker Eleanor Bowen-Jones talked about her relationship with the book, with the Derbyshire spa town of Matlock Bath, and why she’s in the process of making a short documentary about them both; and Asibong read a funny, grotesque and moving extract from one of the novel’s key ‘flashback’ chapters.
All in all this was a truly fabulous evening, topped off with wine, lashings of comically appropriate Peak District spring water, and a truly legendary Mameluke Bath cake.
—Anne Martine Parent, Professor, UQAC (Canada)
A selection of photographs from the book launch party for Mameluke Bath by Andrew Asibong at Big Green Bookshop in London on 19 September, 2013. Photos by Eleanor Bowen-Jones, Anne Martine Parent, and Susannah Hewlett.