New Release Books by David Constantine

David Constantine is the author of The New Abject (2020), The Dressing-Up Box (2019), Refugee Tales: Volume III (2019), Protest (2017) and other 60 books.

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The New Abject

release date: Oct 29, 2020
The New Abject
Something has fallen away. We have lost a part of ourselves, our history, what we once were. That something, when we encounter it again, look it straight in the eyes, disgusts us, makes us retch. This is the horror of the abject. Following the success of Comma''s award-winning New Uncanny anthology, The New Abject invites leading authors to respond to two parallel theories of the abject - Julia Kristeva''s theory of the psychoanalytic, intimate abject, and Georges Bataille''s societal equivalent - with visceral stories of modern unease.

The Dressing-Up Box

release date: Sep 19, 2019
The Dressing-Up Box
Against the backdrop of war, a group of children barricade themselves in an abandoned townhouse, cherishing what’s left of their innocence with the help of a dressing-up box... A deep-sea diver takes to being suspended for hours at a time on the end of a line not long enough to reach the seabed... An aging widower moves into the shed at the end of his garden to plan out his ‘endgame’ surrounded by a lifetime’s worth of hoarded curiosities... The characters in David Constantine’s fifth collection are all in pursuit of sanctuary; the violence and mendacity of the outside world presses in from all sides – be it the ritualised brutality suffered by children at a Catholic orphanage, or the harrowing videos shared among refugees of an atrocity ‘back home’. In each case, the characters withdraw into themselves, sometimes abandoning language altogether, until something breaks and they can retreat no further. In Constantine’s luminous prose, these stories capture such moments in all their clarity; moments when an entire life seems to hang in the balance, the past’s betrayals exposed, its ghosts dragged out into the daylight; moments in which the possibility of defiance and redemption is everything. Praise for The Dressing-Up Box: ''A quietly furious and moving collection...'' - A.L. Kennedy ''Precise in their intensity, unsettling, suddenly and unexpectedly luminous, these stories will stay with you and unfurl within you.'' - Lucy Caldwell ''A beautifully crafted tender, evocative collection. Full of wisdom and light.'' - Irenosen Okojie ''David Constantine''s fifth collection of stories is a fierce and tender meditation on our struggle to live - a lyrical and plainspoken portrait of humanity at its pernicious worst and its suffering, creative, resilient best.'' - Carys Davies

Refugee Tales: Volume III

release date: Jun 27, 2019
Refugee Tales: Volume III
With nationalism and the far right on the rise across Europe and North America, there has never been a more important moment to face up to what we, in Britain, are doing to those who seek sanctuary. Still the UK detains people indefinitely under immigration rules. Bail hearings go unrecorded, people are picked up without notice, individuals feel abandoned in detention centres with no way of knowing when they will be released. In Refugee Tales III we read the stories of people who have been through this process, many of whom have yet to see their cases resolved and who live in fear that at any moment they might be detained again. Poets, novelists and writers have once again collaborated with people who have experienced detention, their tales appearing alongside first-hand accounts by people who themselves have been detained. What we hear in these stories are the realities of the hostile environment, the human costs of a system that disregards rights, that denies freedoms and suspends lives. ‘We hear so many of the wrong words about refugees – ugly, limiting, unimaginative words – that it feels like a gift to find here so many of the right words which allow us to better understand the lives around us, and our own lives too.’ – Kamila Shamsie All profits go to the Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group and Kent Help for Refugees.

Protest

release date: Jun 22, 2017
Protest
Whatever happened to British protest? For a nation that brought the world Chartism, the Suffragettes, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and so many other grassroots social movements, Britain rarely celebrates its long, great tradition of people power. In this timely and evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the anti-Iraq War demo of 2003. Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses – who also contribute afterwords – these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles, offering a streetlevel perspective on the noble art of resistance. In the age of fake news and post-truth politics this book fights fiction with (well researched, historically accurate) fiction. Protests include the Peasants Revolt, Poll Tax Riots, Anti-Iraq War Demo and many more...

The Life-Writer

release date: Sep 19, 2016
The Life-Writer
A New York Times Notable Book 2016 An October Indie Next List “Great Reads” Pick After the death of her beloved husband, Katrin, a literary biographer, picks her way through a trove of his letters and postcards, slowly piecing together the entirety of his life. Surprised by an unlikely chapter in his past that was never revealed during their marriage, Katrin sets off on a heartbreaking journey to discover the man she never fully knew.

In Another Country

release date: May 25, 2015
In Another Country
Named to Kirkus Reviews'' Best Story Collections of 2015 Featuring the story adapted into the Academy Award nominated film, 45 YEARS "I started reading these stories quietly, and then became obsessed, read them all fast, and started re-reading them again and again. They are gripping tales, but what is startling is the quality of the writing. Every sentence is both unpredictable and exactly what it should be."—A.S. Byatt, The Guardian "Rich and allusive and unashamedly moving."—The Independent "Spellbinding."—The Irish Times "An uneasy blend of the exquisite and the everyday . . . the beatific, the ordinary, the rebarbative even, are almost indistinguishable . . . intelligent and well-turned."—The Times Literary Supplement "Perhaps the finest of contemporary writers in this form."—The Reader The first American publication by one of the greatest living fiction masters, In Another Country spans David Constantine''s remarkable thirty-year career. Known for their pristine emotional clarity, their spare but intensely evocative dialogue, and their fearless exposures of the heart in moments of defiance, change, resistance, flight, isolation, and redemption, these stories demonstrate again and again Constantine''s timeless and enduring appeal. David Constantine is an award-winning short story writer, poet, and translator. His collections of poetry include The Pelt of Wasps, Something for the Ghosts (shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize), Nine Fathom Deep, and Elder. He is the author of one novel, Davies, and has published four collections of short stories in the United Kingdom, including the winner of the 2013 Frank O''Connor Award, Tea at the Midland and Other Stories. He lives in Oxford, where, until 2012, he edited Modern Poetry in Translation with his wife Helen.

The BBC National Short Story Award 2010

release date: Dec 05, 2013
The BBC National Short Story Award 2010
The BBC National Short story Award is one of the world''s largest awards for a single short story. All five shortlisted stories, including the winner, are published here side by side. The Award is designed to honour Britain''s finest short story writers and to re-establish the importance of the short story as a central literary form. This year''s shortlist brings together a high calibre group of new and established authors exploring human relationships at their most dysfunctional and yet sustaining. Splintered families, the persistence of love, the public versus the private, and the plight of the outsider all provide a recurring focus for the authors in the running for the prize, which marks its fifth year in 2010. The panel of judges this year includes the author and Guardian journalist Kamila Shamsie, author and poet Owen Sheers, author Shena MacKay, BBC Editor of Readings, Di Speirs and the Today Programme''s James Naughtie, who also introduces the collection.

Decapolis

release date: Dec 03, 2013
Decapolis
Decapolis is a book which imagines the city otherwise. Bringing together ten writers from across Europe, it offers snapshots of their native cities, freezing for a moment the characters and complexities that define them. Ten cities: diverse, incompatible, contradictory in everything from language to landscape. In Amsterdam every Friday night, a lonely woman cooks for her men, a circle of middle-aged bachelors. In Barcelona, a self-regarding poet tries to capture the essence of the city in an eleven-word lyric. In Reykjavik, an unemployed journalist wanders through the deserted buildings of the newspaper he once wrote for. In all cases, these are cities in states of transition: Zagreb in the shadow of the Balkan conflict; Manchester on the cusp of social and economic change; Berlin with half its industrial buildings abandoned like the Mary Celeste. The ultimate untranslatability of these cities experiences is never in question, and yet through these fractured, isolated glimpses chance encounters, snatches of conversation, local TV bulletins something quite unlikely begins to emerge: a commonality grounded in the fleeting and the momentary, a continuum, perhaps, of urban experience *''Deca-Polis'': Greek for ten-cities.

Under the Dam

release date: Dec 03, 2013
Under the Dam
David Constantine''s Under the Dam was chosen as one of their Books of 2005 by both The Independent and The Guardian. See Press below. "FLAWLESS AND UNSETTLING" - Boyd Tonkin, Books of the Year 2005, The Independent. In the middle of a speech a businessman realises his soul has just left his body. In an Athens marketplace, a jealous lover finds himself staggering through a vision of hell. High in the Alps, a young woman’s body re-appears in the glacier, perfectly preserved, where she fell 50 years before. Entering Constantine’s stories is like stepping out into a wind of words, a swarm of language. His prose is as fluid as the water that surges and swells through all his landscapes. Yet, against this fluidity, his stories are able to stop time, to freeze-frame each protagonist’s life just at the moment when the past breaks the surface, or when the present - like the dam of the title - collapses under its own weight. “I started reading these stories quietly, and then became obsessed, read them all fast, and started re-reading them again and again. They are gripping tales, but what is startling is the quality of the writing. Every sentence is both unpredictable and exactly what it should be. Reading them is a series of short shocks of (agreeably envious) pleasure...” – AS Byatt, Book of the Week, The Guardian “A superb collection” – Nicholas Royle, The Independent “This is a haunting collection filled with delicate clarity. Constantine has a sure grasp of the fear and fragility within his characters.” – A. L. Kennedy

Tea at the Midland

release date: Nov 29, 2013
Tea at the Midland
**WINNER of the 2013 Frank O''Connor International Short Story Award** **WINNER of the BBC National Short Story Prize** ''The excellence of the collection is fractal: the whole book is excellent, and every story is excellent, and every paragraph is excellent, and every sentence is excellent. And, unlike some literary fiction, it''s effortless to read.'' - The Independent on Sunday ‘Perhaps the finest of contemporary writers in this form.’ – The Reader To the woman watching they looked like grace itself, the heart and soul of which is freedom. It pleased her particularly that they were attached by invisible strings to colourful curves of rapidly moving air. How clean and clever that was! You throw up something like a handkerchief, you tether it and by its headlong wish to fly away, you are towed along... Like the kite-surfers in this opening scene, the characters in David Constantine’s fourth collection are often delicately caught in moments of defiance. Disregarding their age, their family, or the prevailing political winds, they show us a way of marking out a space for resistance and taking an honest delight in it. Witness Alphonse – having broken out of an old people’s home, changed his name, and fled the country – now pedalling down the length of the Rhône, despite knowing he has barely six months to live. Or the clergyman who chooses to spend Christmas Eve – and the last few hours in his job – in a frozen, derelict school, dancing a wild jig with a vagrant called Goat. Key to these characters’ defiance is the power of fiction, the act of holding real life at arm’s length and simply telling a story – be it of the future they might claim for themselves, or the imagined lives of others. Like them, Constantine’s bewitching, finely-wrought stories give us permission to escape, they allow us to side-step the inexorable traffic of our lives, and beseech us to take possession of the moment.

Belongings

release date: Jun 25, 2020
Belongings
David Constantine''s poetry is informed by a profoundly humane vision of the world. His title, Belongings, signals that these are poems concerned with our possessions and with what possesses us, with where we belong. Another kind of belonging is also challenged: our relationship with the planet to which we belong, but which does not belong to us.

Months of Trump

release date: Oct 17, 2020
Months of Trump
A six month account of social and political events in the tumultuous year of 2020.

When I Was Touched by Love

release date: Nov 08, 2018
When I Was Touched by Love
When I Was Touched By Love is a book of poems divided into six chapters about love, heartache, pain and the beauty of both life and art. It depicts the rise and fall of a man mentally and emotionally heart broken, yet full of sunshine.

For The Love of It

release date: Sep 01, 2018

Poetry

release date: Oct 03, 2013
Poetry
The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of ''the literary'' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. In this fascinating addition to the Literary Agenda series, David Constantine argues that poetry matters. It matters for individuals and for the society they are members of. He asserts that poetry is not for the few but for the many, and belongs and can only thrive among them, speaks of and to their concerns. Poetry considers both the writing and the reading of poetry, which Constantine views as kindred activities. He examines what goes into the writing of a poem and considers what good there is in reading it. Constantine also considers translation, arguing that great benefit comes to the native language from dealings with the foreign; also, that all reading is a form of translation - of texts into the lives we lead. Altogether, Poetry is an attempt, with many quotations, to show how poetry works, what its responsibilities are, and how it may help us in our real circumstances now.

The Shieling

release date: Jan 01, 2009
The Shieling
Tree-climbing students, volunteering soldiers, island-bound recluses... The characters in David Constantine’s remarkable new collection are united by an urge to absent themselves, to abscond from the intolerable pressures of normal life and withdraw into strange ideas, political causes, even private languages. Viewed from without, they appear sometimes absurd – like the vicar who starts conversing with the Devil when his wife leaves him – sometimes tragic – like the vision of a suicide being fished out of the River Irwell. Such is the force of Constantine’s compassion, however, we cannot help but follow each character deep into their isolation. And the further we descend, through the strata of each personal history, the ever-changing landscapes that bear down upon them, the more remarkable the discovery, at very bottom, that glimmers of redemption abide; like the babbling springs uncovered in the scars of a quarry that will one day heal it with a lake, or the secret haven of the title story, offering more than physical refuge, but a safe-house for dreams. By the winner of the BBC National Short Story Prize 2010 Shortlisted for the 2010 Frank O''Connor International Short Story Award

Elder

release date: Jan 01, 2014
Elder
Like the work of the European poets who have nourished him, David Constantine''s poetry is informed by a profoundly humane vision of the world. Many of the poems in his latest collection spring from particular localities: Sicily, the North of England, Southern France, the Aegean, Wales; others from certain places in literature and mythology. Published on his 70th birthday, David Constantine''s tenth book of poetry sounds many personal, elegiac notes as well as - in the story of Erysichthon, for example - anxiety at the abuse of Earth, but there is also much celebration of love, beauty, and the hope and aspiration in human beings to live well in the time allowed.

Back at the Spike

release date: Jan 01, 1994

Molecular-beam Epitaxial Growth and Characterization of Aluminum Gallium Arsenide/indium Gallium Arsenide Single Quantum-well Modulation-doped Field-effect Transistor Structures

release date: Jan 01, 1988

Collected Poems

release date: Jan 01, 2004
Collected Poems
David Constantine is one of the finest poets writing in English. His poetry stands outside the current literary climate, and like the work of the European poets who have nourished him, it is informed by a profoundly humane vision of the world. Its mood is often one of unease, elegiac or comically edged, barbed with pain or tinged with pleasure. His poems hold a worried and restless balance between celebration and anxiety, restraint and longing. His Collected Poems spans three decades, including work from seven previous Bloodaxe titles and two limited editions, as well as a whole collection of new poems. --Bloodaxe Books.

Nine Fathom Deep

release date: Jan 01, 2009
Nine Fathom Deep
David Constantine''s poetry is informed by a humane vision of the world. This book shows how all personal life and all poetry written from it deal with the realities of social and political life, assert themselves, fight for survival, and seek to make a world in which humane self-realisation would be more and more, not less and less, possible.

The Pillars of Hercules

release date: Mar 01, 2012
The Pillars of Hercules
Alexander, Prince of Macedon, is the terror of the world. Persia, Egypt, Athens... one after another, mighty nations are falling before the fearsome conqueror. Some say Alexander is actually the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and the living incarnation of Hercules himself. Worse yet, some say Alexander believes this... The ambitious prince is aided in his conquest by unstoppable war-machines based on the forbidden knowledge of his former tutor, the legendary scientist-mage known as Aristotle. Greek fire, mechanical golems, and gigantic siege-engines lay waste to Alexander''s enemies as his armies march relentlessly west—toward the very edge of the world. Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, past the gateway to the outer ocean, lies the rumored remnants of Atlantis: ancient artifacts of such tremendous power that they may be all that stands between Alexander and conquest of the entire world. Alexander desires that power for himself, but an unlikely band of fugitives—including a Gaulish barbarian, a cynical Greek archer, a cunning Persian princess, and a sorcerer''s daughter—must find it first... before Alexander unleashes godlike forces that will shatter civilization. The Pillars of Hercules is an epic adventure that captures the grandeur and mystery of the ancient world as it might have been, where science and magic are one and the same.

Transitions

release date: Oct 01, 2012
Transitions
This volume of translated poems, short essays and anecdotes address the idea of transition in as many ways as possible - from the theory of translation itself, to the life of the translator as someone constantly hovering between the foreign and the native.

Caspar Hauser

release date: Jan 01, 1994
Caspar Hauser
The subject of Constantine''s fifth book of poems is the enigmatic German Caspar Hauser, who was incarcerated for most of his childhood, released, and then murdered. He appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, able to write his name and say without understanding it one sentence: "I want to be a rider like my father was". Taken in by well-wishers one of whom fell in love with him he was attacked with a razor by an unknown assailant. Three years later, the eccentric Lord Stanhope made him his ward and left him in another town to go travelling. In 1833 he was killed. Constantine''s epic poem unravels the strange strands of Caspar''s short life. He touches on the intrigues of the time (Caspar may have had a claim to the throne of Baden), but his cantos are mainly concerned with Caspar''s innocence and the extraordinary reactions of his untried nervous system to a new life in daylight, and the longings and hopes he awakened in others.

In the Footsteps of the Gods

release date: Jan 30, 2011
In the Footsteps of the Gods
Gladiators and goddesses, philosophers and poets, epic battles and romantic landscapes... the classical world has for centuries captivated and inspired the west. But what provoked the shift from the western world''s love-affair with classical Rome and its manifestation in the Renaissance, to the Hellenic world? The decisive switch in focus and taste from Rome to Greece began in the 17th century, when a succession of travellers - mainly from France and England - journeyed to Greece and what is now Turkey and rediscovered the Hellenic world. In the Footsteps of the Gods traces the ways in which the constantly changing ideal image of ancient Greece, its art, politics and culture, inspired those who travelled there. With lively accounts of their adventurous journeys and vivid descriptions of what they saw, discovered, collected and published about the remains of ancient Greece, it reveals the extraordinary effects that these travellers'' accounts had on the poets and scholars of the west, who in turn were influential in creating the idea and ideal of Greece, which became such a powerful force in the arts and politics of the 18th and early 19th centuries. At the heart of the book is, in the words of the classicist, Richard Stoneman, ''a poet''s vision of Greece''.

Polyphony

release date: Oct 01, 2010
Polyphony
''Polyphony'' is concerned with voices: the local, the foreign, the native, the acquired - and the strange hybrids that come into being when the language of home is crossed with that of abroad.

Modern Poetry in Translation 3/12: Freed Speech

release date: Oct 01, 2009
Modern Poetry in Translation 3/12: Freed Speech
2009 sees the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of those rights is freedom of speech. This title celebrates speech that has been freed. It features examples from past and present, from all over the world, from all manner of circumstances, of people being enabled to speak and of their voices being heard.

Madder

release date: Jan 01, 1987
Madder
David Constantine''s third collection was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. This edition is now out of print but the entire collection is reprinted in his Collected Poems (2004).

Selected Poems

release date: Jan 01, 1991
Selected Poems
Selection drawn from David Constantine''s first three collections, A Brightness to Cast Shadows, Watching for Dolphins and Madder, plus new poems, since replaced by his Collected Poems (2004).
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