Books to Challenge and Surprise Novels Books to Challenge and Surprise Sci-fi & Fantasy Books to Challenge and Surprise LGBT+ Books to Challenge and Surprise Nonfiction

Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful

Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful is a celebration of what it is to be a fighting spirit in a world which prefers you to be quiet and get on. Enjoy this vital work as a celebration of what it is to be young, creative and empowered. Lemn Sissay, foreword These spiky […]

Pansy Boy

Adorning this summer: Paul Harfleet’s PANSY BOY: An imaginative autobiography, with stunning graphics and rhyming couplets. Out in the natural world, a boy is in awe of its beauty. Birds in flight amaze him. School squats at the end of summer. He is fey, and bullies aren’t comfortable with that. They attack him. How can […]

When Opposites Attract – Hull stories inspired by Malorie Blackman

  When Opposites Attract: Award-winning Stories by Teens from Hull Introduced by Malorie Blackman Teenagers from Hull filled a hall at the University of Hull to meet with one of their writing heroes – Malorie Blackman. And they came armed with writing of their own – a strong array of stories written in response to how […]

CBA

A Play for young Adults set in Today’s Digital World Trialled in schools with young people, CBA is a play that asks the really urgent  questions of today. It seems so private, just you and the screen. You click ‘send’. Then the whole world crashes through. Keisha has a secret, Georgia has a security problem […]

Virgin & Child – Maggie Hamand

Strangely touching… written with great elegance and authority. It tackles “head on” some of the most challenging issues for the Roman Catholic Church around gender and sexuality. Sara Maitland What happens when everything you know is thrown into doubt…and you’re the Pope? A thrilling gender-busting story featuring the first recently elected Irish Pope, Patrick, a […]

Pansy Boy

Adorning this summer: Paul Harfleet’s PANSY BOY: An imaginative autobiography, with stunning graphics and rhyming couplets. Out in the natural world, a boy is in awe of its beauty. Birds in flight amaze him. School squats at the end of summer. He is fey, and bullies aren’t comfortable with that. They attack him. How can […]

The Boston Castrato

Colin W. Sargent’s The Boston Castrato does for 1920s Boston what E.L. Doctorow did for New York in Ragtime: it grabs a city out of history, mixes in some fiction and makes it vivid. A rare book, one that will settle into the soul for a lifetime.  Morgan Callan Rogers, author of Red Ruby Heart in a […]

Rufius

Who knows better about top adventures set in the world of Ancient Rome than Steven Saylor? So we asked him for his opinion of this book. Here it is:  “Warning: reading Rufius may induce forbidden thoughts. Also laughter, wonderment, and a discombobulating sensation of time travel. Proceed with caution – but by all means proceed!” […]

Ectopia

Ectopia sounded rich and edgy from its cover blurb alone, promising themes of gender, medicine and identity – topics I loved to see explored in speculative fiction. The book lived up to my expectations, with just a few minor caveats. Ectopia is a terrific novel with excellent characterisation, world-building, narration and dialogue. It’s also thematically […]

The Luckiest Thirteen

We are proud to launch Brian W. Lavery‘s The Luckiest Thirteen, a companion to our bestelling The Headscarf Revolutionaries The early word on The Luckiest Thirteen from some of Hull’s finest writers: ‘Headscarf educated me, enticed me and brought back many a memory of my grandparents. Beautiful read.’ Gemma Oaten It’s bloody brilliant. An emotional story […]

THE HEADSCARF REVOLUTIONARIES

Read a terrific feature drawn from an interview with Brian Lavery, by Allison Coggan of the Hull Daily Mail Here’s the lipstick socialist’s take on the book; and on a socialist theme, here’s Socialist Worker’s take. For its individual northern outlook on the book, here’s Northern Soul’s review. Meanwhile Brian has written a touching piece about […]

Writing Hull

Sixteen writers stepped out into Hull and the surrounding region, and here are the true-life stories they found. They chased history and ghosts; walked into fires and braved high seas; they discovered the tales of survivors and rescuers; they walked the streets of the city and out to where birds hold sway. Some stories are […]

Red Hands – Colin W. Sargent

Red Hands is a deeply compelling tale of a woman caught inside the destruction of a regime. Iordana is a normal girl, brought up with all the perks of Romania’s corrupt communist regime. Then she falls in love and marries the eldest son of her parents’ arch-rival, Romania’s monstrous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.  They become the […]

Angelica, Paintress of Minds – Miranda Miller

Angelica, Paintress of Minds – the new novel from Miranda Miller. June 2020. A fictionalised autobiography of the painter Angelica Kaufmann, one of the two female founders of the Royal Academy. This is a novel about an artistic genius and a powerful woman living, like us, at a time of huge and bewildering change. View […]

Virgin & Child – Maggie Hamand

Strangely touching… written with great elegance and authority. It tackles “head on” some of the most challenging issues for the Roman Catholic Church around gender and sexuality. Sara Maitland What happens when everything you know is thrown into doubt…and you’re the Pope? A thrilling gender-busting story featuring the first recently elected Irish Pope, Patrick, a […]

The Mystery of Briony Lodge

QUIZ! Name two Walsall-born writers, one 19th Century & one 21st Century, who both write under the name Jerome K. Jerome. ANSWER! Jerome K. Jerome (well that wasn’t so hard) & David Bagchi. ‘I belted through The Mystery of Briony Lodge with huge enjoyment. It is wonderfully silly, an ingenious conceit and altogether a cracking good read.’  Jeremy […]

Rufius

Who knows better about top adventures set in the world of Ancient Rome than Steven Saylor? So we asked him for his opinion of this book. Here it is:  “Warning: reading Rufius may induce forbidden thoughts. Also laughter, wonderment, and a discombobulating sensation of time travel. Proceed with caution – but by all means proceed!” […]

The Fifth Dimension

‘I loved it: simple as that. I started reading thinking I’d start with a few chapters and pace it over a week or two, but I found I couldn’t stop. A potent and haunting novel of black holes, solitude and the sublime, it is never less than immensely readable and absorbing.’ – Adam Roberts, winner of the […]

The Secret Baby Room

‘DD JOHNSTON, one of this country’s most principled socialist novelists, is also one of the most versatile and talented around.’   The Morning Star D.D. writes a beautiful piece about the genesis of the novel in Northern Soul. That takes us through some of the supposedly mean streets of Manchester – meanwhile the sedate streets […]

The Monster’s Wife

Frankenstein retold by the girl the doctor made into a Bride for his monster.

Sphinx: The Second Coming

The New Statesman called James Thornton ‘one of ten people who could change the world.’ He’s surely done that in SPHINX: The Second Coming. We not only see the world in both a new and an ancient light, we see it from the perspective of multiple galaxies. ‘Sphinx is intelligent, inspiring and innovative. The combination […]

Ectopia

Ectopia sounded rich and edgy from its cover blurb alone, promising themes of gender, medicine and identity – topics I loved to see explored in speculative fiction. The book lived up to my expectations, with just a few minor caveats. Ectopia is a terrific novel with excellent characterisation, world-building, narration and dialogue. It’s also thematically […]

Ref! Women in Rugby League Drama!

“I love this game. The true game. It makes you feel you belong whatever bloody genitals you were born with.” Based on the true story of former rugby league referee Julia Lee, ranging from the 1980s to the present century and across two continents, REF! by Sarah Jane Dickenson is a universal tale of how […]

CBA

A Play for young Adults set in Today’s Digital World Trialled in schools with young people, CBA is a play that asks the really urgent  questions of today. It seems so private, just you and the screen. You click ‘send’. Then the whole world crashes through. Keisha has a secret, Georgia has a security problem […]

That Berlin Moment

Bold, challenging and compelling That Berlin Moment is a play for four adult characters, two female and two male, which explores how memory is more about the present and the future than the past. ‘Why don’t I feel husband? I look at you and I don’t feel husband, I smell you and I don’t smell […]

Notes from a Mountain Village – James Thornton

A hymn to beauty that is layered, inquiring, and redemptive. Homero Aridjis The second collection from Irish-American poet and leading environmentalist James Thornton, Notes from a Mountain Village is out Summer 2020. Written over 25 years, it pays exquisite attention to the nature, seasons and people of a French mountain village. In his new volume […]

Hope Walks By Me

Poetry and Prose by Ex-Offenders A Financial Times Book of the Year 2019!! Selected in the FT by Bonnie Greer, who says of Hope Walks By Me: ‘My seasonal book is Hope Walks By Me (Barbican Press £9.99)–a collection of poetry and prose by the incarcerated. Developed out of writing projects in Hull and across […]

Dante’s Inferno

We are honoured to follow our publication of Peter Thornton’s translation of Dante’s Inferno with his new, rhymed verse translation of Petrarch, Scattered Rhymes. we flew to Chicago, and Peter’s home in nearby Evanston, for powerful yet poignant days of putting the final edits in place. Sadly Peter passed away a few days later – […]

The Feynman Challenge

In this unusual and exceptionally interesting work, James Thornton speaks as both a poet who has colonized science and a scientist who speaks a poetic tongue. Edward O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University – OUT OCTOBER 5TH 2017 Richard Feynman, the 20th Century’s most dashing physicist, set poets a challenge: Science is not just […]

Pansy Boy

Adorning this summer: Paul Harfleet’s PANSY BOY: An imaginative autobiography, with stunning graphics and rhyming couplets. Out in the natural world, a boy is in awe of its beauty. Birds in flight amaze him. School squats at the end of summer. He is fey, and bullies aren’t comfortable with that. They attack him. How can […]

The Fifth Dimension

‘I loved it: simple as that. I started reading thinking I’d start with a few chapters and pace it over a week or two, but I found I couldn’t stop. A potent and haunting novel of black holes, solitude and the sublime, it is never less than immensely readable and absorbing.’ – Adam Roberts, winner of the […]

The Monster’s Wife

Frankenstein retold by the girl the doctor made into a Bride for his monster.

Sphinx: The Second Coming

The New Statesman called James Thornton ‘one of ten people who could change the world.’ He’s surely done that in SPHINX: The Second Coming. We not only see the world in both a new and an ancient light, we see it from the perspective of multiple galaxies. ‘Sphinx is intelligent, inspiring and innovative. The combination […]

Ectopia

Ectopia sounded rich and edgy from its cover blurb alone, promising themes of gender, medicine and identity – topics I loved to see explored in speculative fiction. The book lived up to my expectations, with just a few minor caveats. Ectopia is a terrific novel with excellent characterisation, world-building, narration and dialogue. It’s also thematically […]

Dante’s Inferno

We are honoured to follow our publication of Peter Thornton’s translation of Dante’s Inferno with his new, rhymed verse translation of Petrarch, Scattered Rhymes. we flew to Chicago, and Peter’s home in nearby Evanston, for powerful yet poignant days of putting the final edits in place. Sadly Peter passed away a few days later – […]

The Fifth Dimension

‘I loved it: simple as that. I started reading thinking I’d start with a few chapters and pace it over a week or two, but I found I couldn’t stop. A potent and haunting novel of black holes, solitude and the sublime, it is never less than immensely readable and absorbing.’ – Adam Roberts, winner of the […]

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

About author
Paul Harfleet Style: Novels, Children's Fiction, LGBT+ London based, Paul Harfleet is an artist, writer and designer. he has been planting pansies at sites of homophobia since 2005. He has visited cities across the U.K. and throughout Europe, to date he has planted almost 300 individual pansies at sites of homophobia. his photographs have been exhibited internationally from Berlin, Paris, London and Manchester, where Harfleet devised the project. Paul speaks frequently about The Pansy Project and recently spoke at the Museum Of Liverpool, Southbank Centre and The Lush Summit. In 2015  a documentary about The Pansy Project; ‘Les Pensées De Paul’, was commisioned by CANAL+. More on where The Pansy Project has featured here.

http://www.thepansyproject.com/

Paul Harfleet
"In Paul Harfleet's graphic novel in rhymed couplets, a young boy tackles homophobia in school by planting pansies at the site of homophobic attacks, taking strength from the flowers he loves."
  • Paul Harfleet
  • Author
"Martin Goodman's first novel ON BENDED KNEES was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, and his most recent biography SUFFER AND SURVIVE won 1st Prize, Basis of Medicine in the BMA Book Awards 2008. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull. "
  • Martin Goodman
  • Author & Publisher
"Sarah Walton was born in 70s London. She is the author of RUFIUS, which won her a PhD. She lives on the edge of the South Downs with two Italian greyhounds."
  • Sarah Walton
  • Author
"Martin Vopěnka is a Czech writer, publisher, journalist and traveller and author of THE FIFTH DIMENSION, translated for Barbican Press by Hana Sklenkova. Vopěnka's books have been published in English, Polish, Russian, Arabic and Romanian. "
  • Martin Vopěnka
  • Author
"Nulla a molestie risus. Integer non accumsan sapien. Donec in lorem in orci venenatis laoreet. Etiam elementum dui nulla, non aliquet neque malesuada vitae. Vivamus semper faucibus rhoncus."
  • Nora Roberts
  • Author & Editor
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus id faucibus massa. Quisque varius arcu sapien, in fringilla libero ultrices quis. Quisque convallis tortor rutrum"
  • E L James
  • Writer
"Brian W. Lavery was born in the East End of Glasgow in 1959, the fourth of six sons of William, a sheet metal worker and Margaret, a shop assistant. He is the author of The Headscarf Revolutionaries and The Luckiest Thirteen."
  • Brian W. Lavery
  • Author
"Aenean iaculis aliquet lobortis. Sed commodo in massa eget congue. Maecenas lacinia arcu ut neque elementum, pharetra imperdiet ligula fringilla. Pellentesque in orci est."
  • Diana Gabaldon
  • Speaker
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus id faucibus massa. Quisque varius arcu sapien, in fringilla libero ultrices quis. Quisque convallis tortor rutrum."
  • Diana Gabaldon
  • Editor & writer
"D. D. Johnston is a Scottish political novelist. He is the author of PEACE, LOVE & PETROL BOMBS, THE DECONSTRUCTION OF PROFESSOR THRUB and THE SECRET BABY ROOM."
  • D. D. Johnston
  • Author