St Patrick’s Day offer for Vocations!
To add our mite to the St Patrick’s Day celebrations on 17 March, please accept a shamrock leaf of 25% discount on Gerald O’Donovan’s Vocations, his marvellous novel about Irish convent life in the late 19th century, Handheld Classic 4 (RRP £11). Please send orders and Paypal payment directly via email: £8.25 inclusive of p&p for orders to be sent to all UK addresses, and £13.25 inclusive of p&p for orders to be sent anywhere in the rest of the world. This offer is valid for orders received on Saturday 17 March. Get your Irish wonderfulness in now, and send one to a friend as well!
Buy a Birthday Bramah!
It will be Ernest Bramah’s 150th birthday on 20 March 2018, and to celebrate we are offering a discount with birthday candles on his classic novel What Might Have Been, Handheld Classic 1 (RRP £13). Please send orders and Paypal payment directly via email: £9.50 inclusive of p&p for orders to be sent to all UK addresses, and £14.50 inclusive of p&p for orders to be sent anywhere in the rest of the world. This offer is valid for orders received from 00.01 on Monday 19 March until 24.00 on Tuesday 20 March. Buy now while stocks last!
Our new cover for Save Me The Waltz
Just in time for the Independent Publishers’ Guild conference, we put together the cover for Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me The Waltz, which will come out in Handheld Classics in January 2019.
The novel is strongly autobiographical, about Alabama Beggs’ life as a Southern belle, then her marriage to the painter David Knight. Their life in New York, Paris and the South of France closely mirrors the Fitzgeralds’ own life and their prominent socialising in the 1920s and 1930s as part of what was later called the Lost Generation.
Like Zelda, Alabama is an aspiring dancer. She is committed to her dance training, attending her ballet studio in Paris every day for répetition, but refuses to accept that she might not become the great dancer that she ardently longs to be, threatening her health and her marriage.
For the cover we chose a glorious 1930s photograph of a dancer in flowing skirts, poised on one foot in mid arabesque, looking out with confident hope towards the future. Save Me The Waltz is a wonderful novel in its own right, and also a perfect complement to your F Scott Fitzgerald collection. Erin Templeton, from Converse College, South Carolina, will write the introduction.
Rose Macaulay in the Handheld Classics
We’re delighted to announce that we have secured the rights for Rose Macaulay’s 1918 novel What Not, to be published in the autumn in the Handheld Classics series. This will mean a little renumbering in the series, as Rose is going to leapfrog over Zelda, but we don’t think anyone will worry. What Not is a remarkable speculative dystopia on journalism, eugenics and family planning, anticipating Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) by 24 years. It was also a little risky: the first edition was very quickly withdrawn from sale when it was realised that Macaulay had sailed too close to the wind in satirising the character of a brutal newspaper tycoon, by suggesting rather strongly that his reporters used blackmail to get good stories. She rewrote the offending pages, and the novel was reissued in 1919. Her cautious publisher’s copy of the original 1918 edition still exists, in the library of the eminent science fiction novelist, collector and encyclopaedist John Clute, who kindly allowed Handheld to photograph the pages in question. The Handheld edition of What Not will reprint the original 1918 text, blackmail episode and all.
Rose Macaulay is best known now for her formidable and delightful novel of Anglican doubt and Near East travel, The Towers of Trebizond (1956), and for her post-war novel of anguished adolescence in the ruins of London, The World My Wilderness (1950). Her first novel was published in 1906. What Not was written as she was beginning her secret affair with Gerald O’Donovan (author of Handheld Classic 4, Vocations) and its plot circulates on whether a woman could and should have children, and with whom. Since O’Donovan was already married, Macaulay did not marry anyone, or have her own child. Instead she was his daughter’s godmother. What Not is probably the least known of her novels due to its fuddled beginning, and was overshadowed by her next novel, Potterism (1920), a very popular satire on journalism. The journalist Sarah Lonsdale, from City University London, will write the introduction.
Handheld books are also e
You’ll have noticed that all Handheld titles are available as ebooks – Kindles from Amazon, and ePubs from Smashwords, who distribute to Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and so on. We’re happy to announce that Handheld books will soon be available through ProQuest in their digital library platform, available for loan through university licences. The ProQuest format is based on pdf files rather than the ebook format, so all pagination and page breaks will be the same as the printed copy. It’s a great way to extend Handheld’s reach, allowing the novels and short stories to be assigned for courses and for borrowing through the regular library network. Look out for Handheld books in the ProQuest catalogue from the summer.
We are constantly updating and refining the Handheld website, and this week we’ve added individual tabs for each title in print, to make it easier to find them from the home page. We check all links weekly, but if you see a problem, please let us know at email@example.com.
We apologise for blithely assuming in the February Newsletter that all was set fair for spring, warm weather and crocuses. We hope that our UK readers have recovered from the epic snows of February and early March, and that that will be an end of such weather until next winter. Two long-tailed tits and a blackcap were observed on the Handheld cherry tree last week, so we are hopeful.
Kate & David