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Ellipsis 1: Comma Modern Shorts

Published by Comma Press

ISBN: 9780954828028

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Ellipsis is a new set of books celebrating the 'short story sequence' - that interlocking daisy-chain of narrative produced when stories knit together to form a continuum of character or theme.

An out-of-season seaside town, a library stocked with memories, a man slowly going mad...

Starting in the hotels and suburbs of a down-at-heel coastal town, Jean Sprackland's stories follow a cast of rootless characters, young men and women clinging to tokens of the past, whose lives are so lacking in ballast they become as unstable as the dunes themselves.

Tim Cooke invites us into a very different space: the derelict rooms and vandalised stairwells of an inner city tower-block. From there, each story draws a claustrophobic spiral round the next, following various characters (or is it the same person?) desperate to flee their demons.

Sean O'Brien's stories also spiral outwards - not from a state of mind but a setting: an ornate, vaulted lending library, an edifice from another age, where unlikely users and chance items found in stock lead to quite different lamentations for the past.

"Sprackland's stories combine narrative energy with affecting compassion for her troubled characters... she has now arrived as a short story writer. Tim Cooke is another extremely exciting author... bold... and skilled."
Time Out

"Even in their stand-alone form, [these stories] are dense, layered and suggestive pieces that benefit from a second or third read and reward with intense stories that get under the skin..."
City Life

"An edgy and original collection that adds up to something more than the sum of its parts."
Leeds Guide 'Book of the Fortnight'

Sean O'Brien has published five collections of poems, including Downriver, which won the 2002 Forward Prize for Best Collection. His essays have been collected in The Deregulated Muse: Essays on Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (Bloodaxe) and he has translated Aristophanes’ The Birds (Methuen) and more recently Zamyatin’s We for BBC Radio 4. He was editor of The Firebox: Poetry in Britain and Ireland After 1945, and currently lives in Newcastle.

Jean Sprackland's first collection of poetry, Tattoos for Mothers’ Day was shortlisted for the Forward First Book Award and her second, Hard Water is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2003 T.S. Eliot Award. She lives in Southport.

Tim Cooke is a Manchester-based musician and writer. His unpublished novel The Zero-Sum Game was the source for Penny Woolcock’s 2004 feature film The Principles of Lust. He is a regular score composer for Channel 4. This is his first published fiction.
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