7:30 pm19:30

Extravagant Stranger LAUNCH

Housmans are proud to present a special Locomotrix evening for the launch of Daniel Roy Connelly's Extravagant Stranger: A Memoir, with special guest Luke Kennard.

Ian Fleming’s Bond meets the lyricism of Rimbaud in this fast-paced, genre-defying debut, encompassing six decades and three continents of absurd and often life-threatening experience.

At once personal and hauntingly universal, Extravagant Strangeris the compelling memoir of self-professed ‘global scalliwag’ Daniel Roy Connelly – former diplomat, theatre director, Shakespeare scholar and conscience-stricken father.

Laced with international intrigue and hilarious moments of well-aimed self-scrutiny, here is a book – like the life it relates – truly without comparison.

Published by Little Island Press.

About the Poets

A former British diplomat, Daniel Roy Connelly is a theatre director, actor and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and the American University of Rome. He has acted in and directed theatre in America, the UK, Italy and China, where his 2009 production of David Henry Hwang's M Butterfly was forced to close by the Chinese secret police. Watch Daniel perform 'Black Dog', a poem for his son, here.

Luke Kennard is the author of five collections of poetry. His latest, Cain (Penned in the Margins, 2016) was shortlisted for the 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize and his first novelThe Transition (4th Estate, 2017) was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Debut Fiction Award. He teaches at the University of Birmingham.


Thu 13 July 2017

19:00 – 20:30 BST

Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9DX

Book your ticket

7:30 pm19:30

Revenge of the Spoken

To celebrate the publication of Gordon Lish’s new fiction White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings (Little Island Press, 2017), Little Island Press and Hotel co-host an evening of readings on and around the works of Gordon Lish, with writers reading from their own works and from this new collection. Chaired by David Winters, the program will include readings from May-Lan Tan, David Hayden, Will Eaves and will conclude with a pre-recorded reading from Lish himself, broadcast exclusively on this occasion.

As fiction editor of Esquire from 1969 to 1977, then as an editor at Knopf and of The Quarterly until 1995, Gordon Lish has worked closely with many of the most daring writers of the past fifty years, including Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Harold Brodkey, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah, Joy Williams, Anne Carson, Amy Hempel, Jack Gilbert and Ben Marcus. More than a dozen books have appeared under Lish’s own name – including the novels Dear Mr. Capote (1983), Peru (1986), and Zimzum (1993). These have won Lish a passionate cult following as a writer of recursive and often very funny prose.

Lish’s latest work of exquisitely crafted fiction, White Plains sees a narrator – variously ‘Gordon!’, ‘I’, ‘He’ – approaching the precipice of old age. Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and consistently hilarious narratives. White Plains is Lish at his sharpest, tackling his perennial subject – the memory of memory itself – with spellbinding mastery.

Copies of White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings will be available on the night. Copies of Hotel #2 & #3 will also be for sale. Hotel #3 includes a sequence of works from White Plains and a hitherto unreleased story, ‘Bamford or Bust!,’ that appears exclusively in Hotel for the first time.

Who? Gordon Lish, May-Lan Tan, Will Eaves, David Hayden & David Winters

What? Revenge of the Spoken – Gordon Lish in a Little Island Hotel

Where? Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian RD, N1 9DY

When? Thursday 24 August 2017

Why? "What is culture but the revenge of the spoken, what is language but its vehicule for conceiving inconceivable trickeries?" – Gordon Lish