Featuring: Alexei Sayle, Dinesh Allirajah, Valeria Parrella, Pawel Huelle, Adam Kaminski, Peppe Lanzetta, Claudia Parman, Artur Becker, Murathan Mungan, Hatice Meryem, Jean-Claude Izzo and Christian Garcin.
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The six European port cities known as the ‘Cities on the Edge’ – Liverpool, Bremen, Gdansk, Istanbul, Marseilles and Naples - share a history of dissent, diversity and economic reinvention. Once gateways to the world, bringing wealth and innovation to their respective nations, they’ve long been maligned and misunderstood by their compatriots, preferring instead to look outwards, towards the sea - to the possibilities of change, of travel and of rebirth.
Featuring short stories by twelve acclaimed writers from the Cities on the Edge, ReBerth explores these landscapes of change - the social tensions, the scars of war and economic decline, the attempts at regeneration, and the startling and sometimes unsavoury secrets of how these cities’ inhabitants thrive and survive.
…In Gdansk, a German exile returns to his childhood home in search of a valuable coin collection left behind during World War II…
…In Naples, a young woman desperate to escape the slums by any means necessary rises from street kid, to Camorra moll, to political powerbroker…
…In Liverpool, a young Spanish footballer arrives to fulfil his dream of playing in the Premiership. But in the backstreets of Anfield he meets a local resident with a very different perspective on the ‘beautiful game’…
About the Authors
Liverpool-born author Alexei Sayle is a comedian (with numerous TV appearances to his credit, including The Young Ones and Comic Strip in the 80s and Alexei Sayle’s Stuff in the 90s), novelist and a short story writer. His debut short story collection Barcelona Plates was published to widespread acclaim in 2000, and was followed by The Dog Catcher (2001), and novels Overtaken (2003) and Weeping Women’s Hotel (2006), all published by Sceptre. In 2007 he revisited the Liverpool haunts of his youth to film the 3-part BBC documentary Alexei Sayle’s Liverpool (BBC 2008). His latest novel, Mister Roberts, is published by Sceptre in 2008.
Liverpool’s Dinesh Allirajah was a founder member of the North West writing group ‘Asian Voices, Asian Lives’. A well respected jazz-poet and workshop leader, he has performed at venues all over Europe. His short story collection A Manner of Speaking is published by Spike Books, and his stories have been widely anthologised (notably in The Book of Liverpool, Comma Press, 2008). He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Central Lancashire.
Artur Becker, son of Polish-German parents, was born in 1968 in Bartoszyce (Masuria/Poland). His publications include Der Dadajsee (Lake Dada, novel, 1997), Dame mit dem Hermelin (Lady with Ermine, poems, 2000), Die Milchstraße (The Milky Way, stories, 2002), Kino Muza (Cinema Muza, novel, 2003), Die Zeit der Stinte (Time of the Smelts, novella, 2006), Das Herz von Chopin (Chopin’s Heart, novel, 2006) and Wodka und Messer. Lied vom Ertrinken (Vodka and Knives. Song of Drowning, novel). He has received numerous awards and literary scholarships including the Autorenförderung des Literaturfonds Darmstadt.
Marseilles-born author Christian Garcin has published a wide range of novels, short story collections, poetry collections and criticism. His five novels are Le vol du pigeon voyageur(éditions Gallimard, 2000) – winner of the Prix du Rotary International – Sortilège (éditions Champ Vallon, 2001), Du bruit dans les arbres (éditions Gallimard, 2001), L’embarquement (éditions Gallimard, 2003), and La jubilation des hasards (éditions Gallimard 2005). He’s also an academic and translator into the French, most notably of the works of Jorge Luis Borges.
Gdansk novelist and short story writer Pawel Huelle spent his early writing career as an employee of the Solidarity Movement’s press office in the late 1980s. He subsequently achieved enormous success (both domestically and in translation) as a writer, and has been honoured with many prestigious awards. His first novel Weiser Dawidek (1987) – described by critics in Poland as ‘the book of the decade’, ‘a masterpiece’ and ‘a literary triumph’ and eliciting comparisons to Günter Grass and Bruno Schulz – has been widely translated. Huelle followed Weiser Dawidek with Moving House and Other Stories (1991), First Love and Other Stories (1996), Mercedes Benz (2001), and Castorpe (2004). The latter novel was published in English translation (Serpent’s Tale, 2007) and was shortlisted for the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
Jean-Claude Izzo shot to international fame in the 1990’s as the author of the now legendary ‘Marseilles Trilogy’ of thrillers (Total Chaos, Chourmo and Solea, published in English translation by Arcadia Books). His distinctive brand of vivid, pacy crime writing has captured the imaginations of readers the world over, encapsulating Marseilles’ simmering issues of race, politics, organized crime and big business, and igniting a whole genre of ‘Marseille Noir.’ Before his death in 2001, Izzo also earned a reputation as a formidable short story writer with the collection Vivre Fatigue.
Adam Kaminski was born in Poland in 1978 and is a poet, writer, playwright, and literary critic. His first collection of poetry, Stad, czyli z Raju, was published in 2000, followed by his first collection of stories, the acclaimed Sam (Alone), published in 2006 by Gdansk University Press. Several of his plays have been broadcast on Polish national radio, and he was recently shortlisted for the ‘Golden Pen of Sopot Award’. His latest collection of stories, Kaplanka is published in 2008.
Peppe Lanzetta was born in Naples in 1956. He first worked as a lyricist with singers Edoardo Bennato, Pino Daniele, James Senese and Franco Battiato. His theatrical debut was Neapolitan Repented (1983) which was followed by plays such as Roipnol (1984), The Gospel according to Lanzetta (1986), Tropic of Naples (1998), and ‘Give us Back Our Dreams’ (2001). An actor, screenwriter, and the director of short films, he has worked with Piscicelli, Tornatore, Cavani, De Crescenzo, Loy, Martone, Asia Argento, and Scimeca. His published works include Burn up my Life (Baldini & Castoldi, 1996), A Love with Expiration Date (Baldini & Castoldi, 1998), and A Trip to Naples (Paravia, 1997).
Hatice Meryem is an Istanbul based novelist and short story writer, and former editor of the literary magazines Okuz and Hayvan. Her books include the novel Kisim Kisim Yer Damar Damar (Iletisim Yayinlari 2008), and the short story collections Sinek Kadar Kocam Olsun Basimda Bulunsun (Iletisim Yayinlari 2008) and Siftah (Varlik Yayinlari 2000), from which her story ‘Aborted City’ appears.
Murathan Mungan is known in Turkey as the author of poetry, plays, short stories, novels, screenplays and songs. His first collection of poems, Osmanliya Dair Hikayat (Stories about Ottomans) was published in 1980, making Mungan an overnight success. His output remained prolific, and various poetry books followed, notably Yaz Gecer (Summer Passes) and Metal. He has written four stage plays, which earned him wider success. Mahmud ile Yezida, and Taziye are two of the most staged plays of the modern Turkish theatre, and his screenplay Daginik Yatak (Messy Bed) was later filmed by director Atif Yilmaz in 1986 starring the Turkish actress Müjde Ar.
Claudia Parman was born in Goslar, Germany in 1964. After studying and working in the US and Germany, she settled in Bremen in 2000. Since then, Parman has published a number of short stories in Germany, most notably contributing to Bremer Texte (Edition Temmen, Bremen) - a series of anthologies featuring short stories and poetry set in Bremen. This is the first of her short stories to be published in English translation."
Valeria Parrella was born in 1974 and lives in Naples, where she trained as a specialist in Italian Sign Language. Following the publication of her debut short story collection, Mosca più balena (Mosquito and Whale, Minimum Fax, 2003) she became widely regarded as one of Italy’s most exciting young authors, and is winner of Renato Fucini Prize 2005, and the Zerilli-Marimò Prize 2006 for Italian Fiction in the US.
Dr Franco Bianchini is Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning, at Leeds Metropolitan University. His publications include Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration: The West European Experience, and The Creative City. He was appointed by the President of the European Parliament to the selection panel responsible for designating Cork as the European Capital of Culture for 2005. Since 2003 Franco has collaborated with the Liverpool Culture Company in developing ‘Cities on the Edge’.
Dr Jude Bloomfield is an independent researcher and writer on urban cultures, planning and citizenship, a translator and poet. She specialises in intercultural planning and urban imaginaries.