To mark International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the variety of female voices published by Parthian, both from Wales and the world at large, and bringing to the forefront books by great women, about great women, and the struggles and complexities they face in trying to articulate their own place in the world. They range from established classics to important works by contemporary female authors.
Three poets make their debuts with Parthian in 2017. First, Natalie Ann Holborow’s And Suddenly You Find Yourself, an exploration of human nature and a haunting mix of love, loss, desire, fear and revenge, has been launched in the Kolkata Book Fair. Christina Thatcher’s More Than You Were, shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition 2015, will be published this spring alongside Sophie McKeand’s new collection, Rebel Sun. Rebel Sun is currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, which you can see and donate to here.
Women are at the centre of Parthian Europa Carnivale, a project dedicated to publishing and promoting female voices from around Europe. The project so far encompasses eight books, mixing poetry, short stories and novels, with two English-language books and six having been translated or in the process of translation.
Parthian Europa Carnivale features two books from Welsh authors; first is Pigeon, the debut novel from Alys Conran, lecturer in Creative Writing at Bangor University, and Clown’s Shoes, a collection of short stories from Rebecca F. John, winner of PEN International/New Voices Award 2015. Pigeon has recently been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2017. Books already translated and published include Uršuľa Kovalyk’s The Equestrienne, Monique Schwitter’s Goldfish Memory, and Emilia Ivancu’s Washing My Hair With Nettles.
Still to come is the translation of Women Who Blow on Knots, by Ece Temelkuran, a Turkish writer and journalist acclaimed for her criticism of the Turkish government, earning her an Ayşe Zarakolu Freedom of Thought Award from the Human Rights Association of Turkey.
Celebrating Women Around The World with Kobo e-books
Kobo’s US and Canadian stores are featuring four Parthian-published women in their 'Celebrating Women Around The World' e-book sale, which is running from March 7th-12th.
The Water Castle, Brenda Chamberlain
The Water Castle follows the journal of a Welsh woman travelling with her husband to visit a former lover in post-war Germany, exploring ideas of national and personal history. Brenda Chamberlain set up the Caseg Press with her husband, producing carvings and publishing poetry. After separating from her husband, Brenda lived in isolation and focused on her artistic endeavours, finding inspiration from island life in North Wales. These paintings earned her two gold medals from the National Eisteddfod and regular exhibitions in London. She moved around, living variously in England, Germany and Greece, but ultimately returned to Bangor towards the end of her life. After publishing a collection of poetry and drawings in 1969, Brenda took her own life in 1971. Her legacy lives on; her art continues to be held in museums and galleries across Wales and Royal Holloway, London, and her prose works have been republished under Parthian’s Library of Wales banner, which also preserves work from other classic female Welsh authors including Margiad Evans, Kate Roberts, and Hilda Vaughan.
Arrivals, Susie Wild
Arrivals, a novella by Susie Wild about a mother and a daughter in separate countries coming to terms with their pasts. Originally a writer in Parthian’s Bright Young Things set and contributor to Nu, two initiatives to promote emerging Welsh writers, Susie is now Publishing Editor at Parthian, and has edited and contributed to a wide number of magazines and publications, as well as organising literary events and festivals including xx women’s writing festival, a festival dedicated to celebrate female authors and issues in literature.
Look Me in the Eye, Silvia Soler
Soler is a Spanish journalist and author, who has won prizes both for her original fiction and her critical work on Spanish literature. Full of sun and sex, desire and doubt, fidelity and infidelity, Look Me in the Eye follows Bianca, a translator whose obsession with a book about a woman with an unfaithful husband leads her to question everything about her own life, career and marriage.
Turning The Tide, Angela V. John
Angela V. John’s Turning The Tide completes the collection. Fittingly, the book is an exhaustive and well-researched biography of Margaret Haig Thomas, a suffragette who marched with the Pankhursts, undertook hunger strikes in prison, founded the radically feminist Six Point Group and Time and Tide magazine, and fought for women to be allowed to hold seats in the House of Lords. She was director of 33 different companies and worked hard to increase opportunities for women in the commercial world. Turning the Tide is another vital exploration of women’s history by Angela V. John, renowned biographical historian, honorary professor at Swansea Universoty, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Learned Society of Wales among others. She has contributed heavily to the preservation and recognition of women’s history and the works, political, fiction or otherwise, of those women.