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Winner of the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary AwardWinner of the 2014 James Tait Black PrizeShortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker PrizeShortlisted for the 2013 Goldsmiths PrizeShortlisted for the 2014 Walter Scott Prize for Historical FictionAs late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders - two men and a dangerously magnetic woman - arrives on the woodland borders triggering a series of events that will see Walter Thirsk's village unmade in just seven days: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, cruel punishment meted out to the innocent, and allegations of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of Walter's story, and he will be the only man left to tell it .
FROM THE MAN BOOKER SHORTLISTED AUTHOR OF HARVEST'The Melody takes its place among his finest [novels] . . .
an ecological fable for modern times' Guardian'Seductively atmospheric . . .
deeply moving' Daily Mail'Brilliant' ObserverAlfred Busi, famed in his town for his music and songs, is mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days in the large villa he has always called home. Then one night Busi is attacked by a creature he disturbs as it raids the contents of his larder. Busi is convinced that what assaulted him was no animal, but a child, `innocent and wild', and his words fan the flames of old rumour - of an ancient race of people living in the bosk surrounding the town - and new controversy: the town's paupers, the feral wastrels at its edges, must be dealt with.
Once and for all. Lyrical and warm, intimate and epic, The Melody by Jim Crace tracks the few days that will see Busi and the town he loves altered irrevocably. This is a story about grief and ageing, about reputation and the loss of it, about love and music and the peculiar way myth seeps into real life.
And it is a political novel too - a rallying cry to protect those we persecute.
Milkman by Anna Burns (BOOK CLUB DEC 2018)
BOOK CLUB December 2018
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018'Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.' - Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous.
Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be.
To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.
New Manx Books...
Friend or Foe
The fascinating story of women’s internment during WWII in Port Erin and Port St Mary, Isle of Man. Published by Rushen Heritage Trust in association with Lily Publications.
HOW WOMEN WITH DIFFERENT VIEWS MANAGED TO “RUB ALONG TOGETHER”.
How did seven different people, most of whom had never met before, come together to write the first ever book on Womens’ Internment in WW2?
They are members of Rushen Heritage Trust in the Isle of Man, and became fascinated by the remarkable people connected with the unique Rushen Womens’ Camp in 1940 – 45: how locals and internees lived together in the same houses, forming many friendships, some lifelong; how they were all encircled by a barbed wire perimeter, including shops, houses, schools and beaches; why most internees wanted Britain to win the War; their hopes, fears, courage, and enterprise; the unique gender situation – at times over 85% of the total population in the two seaside towns of Port Erin and Port St. Mary were female; how the Camp was run by Manx landladies, with light touch governance from police and civil servants.
Somehow, like the seven authors who soon became friends, but often engaged in animated debate, the locals and women internees – German/Jewish refugees from Nazi oppression, Germans and Austrians who had lived peacefully in Britain for many years, a minority of committed Nazis, Fascists – all managed to “Rub along together”. The question was, who was friend and who was foe?
The authors interviewed locals who still retained vivid memories of Camp W, found much new information on the under – researched topic of WW2 Women’s Internment, and soon realised that the story addressed important universal themes of continuing relevance today – immigration, injustice, gender, tolerance, diversity, the nature of friendship, the ability to adapt to inequity and loss, and , most of all, the triumph of human values in difficult situations.
My Year as Manx Bard by Sara Goodwins
Until now, there has been no book about the Manx Bard.
Promoting the Isle of Man by public appearances and through poetry, the Bard's job is varied and wide-ranging. During 2017-8, Sara Goodwins served as the fourth Manx Bard and has written My Year as Manx Bard, describing the highs and lows of her bardic year.
Like the time she was all geared up to go to an event which no-one had told her had been cancelled.
Or nearly had the Bardic staff confiscated as a dangerous weapon.
Or when she had to address the audience of The Gaiety Theatre from the stage.
Or was invited to be an after-dinner speaker where half the audience had eaten so well they went to sleep.
With full-colour illustrations of the inspirational Manx countryside, and containing some of the poems Sara wrote during her bardic year, My Year as Manx Bard is 96 pages long and costs £9.95.
You’d be wrong to think verse boring,
Spurning it for wasting time;
Verse expands ideas, exploring
Everywhere by means of rhyme.
But the Bard’s job’s more than writing
Shaping text to rhyme and scan,
It’s promoting and highlighting
All that makes the Isle of Man.
If you want more information
On the Manx Bard, take a look –
There’s no need for speculation
As it’s all here, in this book…
A Brief History of the Isle of Man (Extensively Revised Edition)
by Sara Goodwins
Available from 10 March 2017, this revised edition has been updated with new text and new photos and provides an excellent summary of Manx history.
With parliamentary traditions introduced by Vikings, the Isle of Man was the first country to give women the vote. Much of its public transport hasn’t changed since Victoria was on the throne, yet the island is fifth in the space race. Famed for its motorbike racing and tailless cats, it’s still traditional to greet the little people when crossing Fairy Bridge.
In the middle of the Irish Sea, and the centre of westbound sea trade, Mann has been drawn into the politics of the surrounding islands, yet maintains its own traditions, language and way of life.
It is this proud history of the Manx and their island which this book celebrates.
Eye of Mann
by Charles Guard, Miles Cowsill
The book will be released for sale in July 2018 and published in October with over 200 photographs
This new book from Lily Publications will show the Isle of Man as you never seen it before with views from a drone camera. The book will illustrate not only the rugged coast, towns, villages but also many of the historical sites of the Island. All the pictures will be complemented with captions for each view with supporting text by local Manx broadcaster, film-maker and editor Charles Guard and Miles Cowsill a local photographer, writer and publisher.
Isle of Man Transport by Martin Jenkins
Published Sept 2017
A Colour Journey in Time : Steam Railways, Ships, and Road Services Buses
This stunning selection of colour views, dating from the period 1953-1980, includes most of the vessels operated during this period by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and The Ramsey Steamship Company. Passenger boats and freighters are seen at ports on the island and on the mainland. There is comprehensive coverage of the Peel, Ramsey and Port Erin lines operated by the Isle of Man Railway with some outstanding views taken during the 1950s, together with excellent portraits of most of the locomotives, as well carriages, vans, wagons, lorries, stations, staff and signal boxes.
Also covered are Douglas Station and its environs, St John's junction and the Sunday 'specials' to Braddan. Many of the rich mix of bus types operated by the railway subsidiary, Isle of Man Road Services, are seen in a variety of locations. Included are some of the vehicles delivered just before and shortly after the Second World War.
There are good views of the fascinating Ramsey Pier Tramway and its unusual rolling stock, as well as rare scenes taken as early as 1953 on the Groudle Glen Railway. For anyone who loves the Isle of Man and its wealth of vintage transport, this book provides a remarkable trip down memory lane and a colourful reminder of some of its lost glories. The book is dedicated to the memory of John McCann who took brilliant colour views on the island starting in 1953.
For the Love of Manx Kippers
The Ups and Downs of Commercial Fishing in the Isle of Man.
Renowned fishing writer Mike Smylie takes a long hard look at the Manx
fishing industry. Following a brief historical overview we are led on an
enthusiast’s journey through the specialist areas that make fishing on
the Isle of Man so important and unique, with particular reference to
those most local of delicacies, Manx Kippers and Queenies. The author’s
affection and understanding of his subject make this a very personal
story as well as being of interest to anyone with a love for things Manx.
Isle of Man Transport in the 1970s by David Christie
Starting with a day trip (by air from Blackpool) in 1970, this book covers the rest of the decade with visits in 1971, 1972, 1976 and 1979. The island was a fascinating place for a transport enthusiast, with the traditional Douglas Corporation buses, horse tramway, Manx Electric Railway and the steam railway - not forgetting the Snaefell Railway and the lovely old Steam Packet Co. ships.
These traditional ships were the main loss in later years, but changes had also occurred prior to David's final visit, with the loss of the Douglas livery (all buses now being under a `National' fleetname) and the rationalisation of Douglas railway station. With a range of interesting views and fascinating subject matter, Isle of Man Transport in the 1970s will appeal both to those who have visited the island and general transport enthusiasts.
Frank 'N' Stan's Bucket List #2: TT Races by J C Williams
Frank’s too busy enjoying life just now to worry about dying.
Bucket list item №1 for Frank and his oldest friend, Stan, was the TT Races. They did it, and loved it so much, that now they’re heading back for item №2 on the list – TT Races yet again!
The fledgeling race team they’d cobbled together on their first outing – despite moments of definite glory – didn’t exactly thrive. But, despite this, they’ve once again secured the trusty services of Dave and Monty – the two most out of shape, yet passionate and dedicated, racers in the paddock – and they’re optimistically eyeing a top ten finish.
With his unhappy marriage and wallet-draining ex-wife now firmly in the past, Frank is ready for a positive change – time and health permitting. Life in the glorious Isle of Man has rejuvenated him, and he’s now eager, in fact, to make it his home. But he’s not going anywhere unless his mate Stan’s coming, too!
Frank 'n' Stan's Bucket List #1: TT Races by J C Williams
by Isle of Man based author, J C Williams
Frank’s had better days…
The doctor gave him the news he didn't want and Frank's discovered the worst kept secret in Liverpool; that his wife’s fitness instructor is providing her services that extend beyond the gym.
With time a dwindling commodity, Frank decides it’s time to do something he wants to do. With a little encouragement from his oldest friend, Stan, the first destination for his ‘bucket-list’ is the Isle of Man TT Races.
They were content to just spectate, but fate had other ideas.
Return to Isle of Man Transport : Manx Electric, Snaefell & the Buses and Trams of Douglas Corporation
by by Jenkins Martin, Roberts Charles
Hardback 208 pages, 200 colour photographs and maps
This is the second book by Martin Jenkins and Charles Roberts, about transport in the Isle of Man. The first volume covered the railway network, where as this new volume covers all other forms, road, rail, sea and air operations. The book is illustrated, using previously unpublished rare early colour pictures, from the Online Transport Archive, which holds over a million transport images.
Both the authors have managed to collect together some truly interesting and often stunning pictures, from a period when colour coverage of transport subjects was almost non existent.
by Alan Franklin.
Enemy Aliens and Political Detainees on the Isle of Man in World War 2
From the commencement of their deliberations the War Emergency Committee have also impressed on the Imperial Government … the desirability of obtaining an Alien Internment Camp”
The Second World War radically changed the Isle of Man accelerating its movement towards becoming the self-governing Crown Dependency that it is today. With a peak of around 15,000 internees and detainees held and with navy, army and air force bases the effect on the civilian population and the economy of the Island was profound.
Alan Franklin brings to life a wide range of detail from personal papers, accounts and published sources long forgotten or hidden away in surprising locations. An essential guide to those whose relatives were interned as well as the researcher into this fascination period of the Islands history.
“In the camp we were always looking for something that would break the monotony. One day they caught a seagull, so the internees coloured one wing red and one green, so that we had the Italian flag flying over our camp (green, white and red).”
About the author
Born in Devon but resident of the Isle of Man for 25 years Alan Franklin is a retired Chartered Librarian with over 40 years’ experience of working in libraries, for 23 years he was librarian at the Manx Museum in Douglas and met with and corresponded with numerous former internees and researchers into Internment, this book draws on that knowledge.
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