I was asked to recommend some books for readers of the The Big Issue this week.
The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth takes as its starting point life in England during the invasion of 1066. This is no dry historical work, though, but rather an experimental, challenging and utterly invigorating account of one man’s resistance against invading forces, with strong ecological undertones and flashes of violence. It already looks destined to be a classic. This year, The Valley by Richard Benson and Water And Sky by Neil Sentence both explore the authors’ family histories. The former is an epic, century-spanning work that considers the rise and fall of the mining industry (and the working class) in one Yorkshire valley, and the latter offers some poetic and bucolic recollections of the fields and farmlands of rural Lincolnshire.
Out this month, Francis Plug – How To Be A Public Author by Paul Ewen is a surreal and highly ridiculous satire of the sordid world of publishing and prize-giving, featuring cameos for countless ‘real’ writers. It’s very funny, odd and memorably unique.
Benjamin Myers is the author of Pig Iron. His new book Beastings is out now
Read other author recommendations in the magazine or here.