The debut title from Hackney's Peninsula Press and it's a total knockout. Via the seemingly unlikely pairing of Barack Obama and Keanu Reeves, Harris' essay explores the forms of heroism embodied by both figures as a means of examining and embracing mixed-race masculine identity. The political and theoretical are seamlessly interwoven with examinations of popular culture and Harris' personal history and experiences to become an intimate and profound meditation on identity and the ways in which it can be reconfigured as a form of resistance.
Voiced by three sisters, Grace, Sky, and Lia, from the isolated island home they share with their mother and tyrannical father, King, The Water Cure is a radical and complex exploration of sisterly bonds, the various threats of patriarchy, and the power of myth as a means of control. In a near-future in which men are, literally, toxic to women, the sisters perform bizarre rituals and protection spells designed by King to mitigate the effects of the outside world. When two men and a boy arrive on the island following King's disappearance, the fabric of the girls' existence is viscerally torn apart in ways that defy any shred of conventionality and elevate the novel beyond comfortable categorisation. The Water Cure is an extraordinary debut, and the sense of slow, elemental dread that saturates every page has remained with me for months after reading it.
Published by Hamish Hamilton on 24th May 2018
Spanning 1989-90, Modern Nature is the first volume of Derek Jarman's collected journals and remains an incredibly powerful account of the celebrated filmmaker's life as he looks back across his childhood, education and career from the windswept garden of Prospect Cottage, Dungeness. As well as richly illuminating his personal life and work, and also serving as an intricate botanical diary, the book ultimately comes to represent a complex reckoning with national identity. From the age of post-war imperial decline in which he grew up to the hostile social climate created by Thatcher's government at the height of the AIDS crisis and the slow microcosmic drama of his desert-garden, Jarman ultimately delivers a queer confrontation with the poetry and tragedy of the English landscape.
This is the first in a very welcome series of Jarman reissues from Vintage and features a wonderful new introduction from Olivia Laing.