The Cut is a commissioned novel responding to Brexit. Published on the first anniversary of the EU referendum on June 23rd 2017, it will be a fictional exploration of the forces that split Britain apart.
The Cut is a wound, of course, but it is more than that.
Cairo Jukes walks the towpaths of "the cut", the Black Country term for the canals that web this small region of England, the open veins of an old industrial order.
And then there is Dudley –a town at the heart of the Black Country – where a young woman runs through the market-place with her clothes on fire. Who she is? Why is she burning? And what part has Cairo played in her life?
We follow these two characters across a single day in Brexit-era Britain.
Praise for Anthony Cartwright
‘A writer with a wonderful ear ... and an unblinking sense of Britain as it is today. Anthony Cartwright's patient, attentive storytelling shines a glowing light on areas of our common experience that the English novel usually consigns to darkness.’
‘A bittersweet elegy to Britain's battered working classes.’ Metro
‘Similar scope to Don DeLillo’s Underworld and such ambition pays. This impressive novel succeeds in giving voice to a part of the country that is more frequently spoken about than listened to.’ The Observer
176pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published June 2017
Olumide Popoola & Annie Holmes
GUARDIAN READERS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016
A Peirene Now! original fiction commission.
'The Jungle is like a laboratory.'
Calais is a border town. Between France and Britain. Between us and them. The eight short stories in this collection explore the refugee crisis through fiction. They give voice to the hopes and fears of both sides. Dlo and Jan break into refrigerated trucks bound for the UK. Marjorie, a volunteer, is happy to mingle in the camps until her niece goes a step too far. Mariam lies to her mother back home. With humour, insight and empathy, breach tackles an issue that we can no longer ignore.
‘This is what fiction is for. These stories refresh difficult territory in ways that other writing cannot reach. Tender, tragic, funny (sometimes), persuasive.’ Sara Maitland
This is fine, suspenseful fiction springing from human lives in extremis...it possesses a timeless quality, despite its obvious timeliness.'Kapka Kassabova, The Guardian
'breach is a bridge, one that spans both sides of a difficult debate and encourages reasoned and proactive discourse. Tough and tender, subtle yet hard-hitting, these compelling stories matter, and with luck will make a difference.' Malcolm Forbes, The Herald Scotland
160pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published August 2016