We’re looking for modern stories that need to be heard, from diverse voices. We want the stories by people and identities who get told ‘we’ve already got one of those’. We want to help the future develop from a diversity of today’s voices, not just the fashionable ones. If this rings your bell, please go to the Authors page, and tell us about your project.
After the Death of Ellen Keldberg, by Eddie Thomas Petersen
translated by Toby Bainton
Handheld Modern 1
The Danish seaside town of Skagen is an artists’ paradise in summer, but only the locals live there in winter. Two visitors come to Skagen from Copenhagen on a snowy night after the death of the elderly artist Ellen Keldberg . She was found frozen on a street bench, and now lies laid out on her bed, waiting for a post-mortem. Her student nephew Mikkel comes to Skagen because he has to organise her funeral, yet he can barely remember Aunt Ellen and knows nothing about her life. Anne Sofie comes to exhibit her photographs, and single-mindedly pursue her ruthless quest. She will allow no-one to hide, or obscure the truth about Ellen. Before Anne Sofie has finished, there will be blood in the snow, and she will have photographed , eath.
This unputdownable novel by the Danish writer Eddie Thomas Petersen is as relentless as Anne Sofie’s smile, as unstoppable as her search for answers. It’s a family saga, a thriller without gore, and a portrait of Skagen in the dark and in the snow, full of alliances and old secrets. Toby Bainton’s gripping translation does full justice to the calmness of the narration. Discover Ellen Keldberg’s story as Mikkel blunders through Skagen in winter, following the elusive Anne Sofie.
3 September 2018, ISBN 978-1-9999448-4-1, £ to be announced
Interested in why we chose this cover? Read about it here.
So Lucky, by Nicola Griffith
Handheld Modern 2
Handheld Press is proud to be publishing the UK edition of award-winning novelist Nicola Griffith’s stupendous new novel, published in the USA on 15 May 2018.
Mara Tagarelli is on top of her world. She’s the head of a multimillion-dollar AIDS foundation, an accomplished martial artist, and happily married. She has never met a problem she can’t solve—until suddenly she can’t solve any of them. In space of a single week her wife leaves her, she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she loses her job.
Now everything begins to feel like a threat. At first, she thinks it’s just her newfound sense of vulnerability. Then she realises the threat of violence is real, deadly, and heading straight for her.
But how do you defend yourself when you can’t trust your own body? How do you face down danger when everyone, including you, believes you are helpless and monsters are coming? You find your people, and you build a community.
Nicola Griffith’s So Lucky is fiction from the front lines, incandescent and urgent, a narrative juggernaut that rips through sentiment to expose the savagery of the experience of becoming disabled and dismissed. Yet So Lucky also blazes with authority, the understanding of the life that becomes possible when we stop believing lies, find our strengths, and learn new ways to fight.
“The narrator of Griffith’s new novel, after her award-winning Hild, is head of an Aids foundation in Georgia. Shortly after breaking up with her wife, she discovers she has multiple sclerosis: “Sufferer. Victim. Was that who I was now?” With great insight and power, Griffith chronicles one woman’s fight to maintain her independence and grit [and] the plot twists into a sophisticated thriller.” BBC Culture
To be published on 22 November 2018. ISBN 978-1-912766-00-0, £ to be announced