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Aug 242020
 

A new English translation by Christina Les of Kathrin Schmidt’s prize winning novel Du Stirbst Nicht is due to be published early in 2021.

Helene Wesendahl wakes from a post-aneuryism coma paralysed, speechless and devoid of memory. With each re-learned movement, remembered word and returned fragment of forgotten biography, a life comes to light that she scarcely recognises, confronting her with a strange woman who was once herself. Through the awakening heroine’s eyes, we observe her own body (which seems to lead a life of its own as it laboriously undergoes rehabilitation), her fellow-patients, nurses and doctors, the reactions of a complicated family, and the sacrificial commitment of her husband. Helene’s crisis deepens with the gradual realisation that, owing to a passion for a mysterious woman, she was intending to leave this man who now cares so much …

In 2002, halfway through her award-winning career as a writer, Kathrin Schmidt had a stroke and lost her language. You’re not dying is a tale of recovery based on true experience, all the more astonishing for its stylistically dazzling linguistic facility. ‘Kathrin Schmidt is back. Rejoice!’ Wrote Vladimir Balzer in Die Welt. The difficult experience of illness becomes added to Schmidt’s hallmark themes of love, the body, gender and genealogy, historiography and memory.

In 2009 You’re not dying was the triumphant winner of the German Book Prize, pipping to the post the recent Nobel Prize-winner Hertha Muller, who was also shortlisted. Schmidt’s writing career is littered with multiple prestigious prizes for both her poetry and prose.

Schmidt’s writings are framed by her politics. She co-edited a feminist journal in East Berlin in the early years of the united Germany, and represented the United Left faction at round-table discussions at the time of reunification. Before becoming a writer she trained as a psychologist.

• translated into 13 languages – now, at last, into English!
• voted Best Book by German radio & TV platform SWR

A haunting book. […] Kathrin Schmidt is back. We can rejoice! Vladimir Balzer, Die Welt

An outstanding, true novel Meike Fessmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung

a stylistically dazzling book Alexander Riebel, Die Tagespost

A great novel about illness, language and identity […] Kathrin Schmidt is one of the most important authors of her generation in Germany. Literaturen

…gets under your skin Helmut Böttiger, Die Zeit Online

Once again, Kathrin Schmidt proves to be a narrative virtuoso Der Spiegel Online

Breathtakingly accurate, Kathrin Schmidt paints the tedious path back into human existence. Neue Zürcher Zeitung

A compelling novel Michael Opitz, Deutschland Radio

a zinger, a humdinger, a fabulous shock of a novel Katie Derbyshire

More about Kathrin Schmidt

Aug 242020
 

Poetry by Jean Stevens

Words

a lifetime’s freight of words
slippery words
words across deep valleys
devoting a life to words
words of help
lost words
magical words
the air full of words
words inside a child’s head
anchoring words
alive with words
a serpent’s words
finished with words
all human words
black-lettered words
grappling with words
all those words that might have been

The poems in Jean Stevens’ latest collection reflect on the joy to be found in words,

working with words, and in managing the nothingness. She revels in their use, at the same time as acknowledging the difficulty of finding words that say exactly what we mean.

There is regret about their use in relationships: a lifetime’s freight of words said and regretted and the weight of words I should have said,along with a wish to share with nature the language vital for living at one with the elements.

Other poems relish the sound of words heard and remembered: Crewe Alexandra, Plymouth Argyle, and an imagined conversation with Sylvia Plath: To hell with men, let’s devote our lives to words, as well as recognising that things said years ago still influence us: that’s not for the likes of you,and lead to a lifetime trying to learn the impossible language.

Aug 242020
 

Poetry by Jean Stevens

Words

a lifetime’s freight of words
slippery words
words across deep valleys
devoting a life to words
words of help
lost words
magical words
the air full of words
words inside a child’s head
anchoring words
alive with words
a serpent’s words
finished with words
all human words
black-lettered words
grappling with words
all those words that might have been

The poems in Jean Stevens’ latest collection reflect on the joy to be found in words,

working with words, and in managing the nothingness. She revels in their use, at the same time as acknowledging the difficulty of finding words that say exactly what we mean.

There is regret about their use in relationships: a lifetime’s freight of words said and regretted and the weight of words I should have said,along with a wish to share with nature the language vital for living at one with the elements.

Other poems relish the sound of words heard and remembered: Crewe Alexandra, Plymouth Argyle, and an imagined conversation with Sylvia Plath: To hell with men, let’s devote our lives to words, as well as recognising that things said years ago still influence us: that’s not for the likes of you,and lead to a lifetime trying to learn the impossible language.

Aug 242020
 

A new English translation by Christina Les of Kathrin Schmidt’s prize winning novel Du Stirbst Nicht is due to be published early in 2021.

Helene Wesendahl wakes from a post-aneuryism coma paralysed, speechless and devoid of memory. With each re-learned movement, remembered word and returned fragment of forgotten biography, a life comes to light that she scarcely recognises, confronting her with a strange woman who was once herself. Through the awakening heroine’s eyes, we observe her own body (which seems to lead a life of its own as it laboriously undergoes rehabilitation), her fellow-patients, nurses and doctors, the reactions of a complicated family, and the sacrificial commitment of her husband. Helene’s crisis deepens with the gradual realisation that, owing to a passion for a mysterious woman, she was intending to leave this man who now cares so much …

In 2002, halfway through her award-winning career as a writer, Kathrin Schmidt had a stroke and lost her language. You’re not dying is a tale of recovery based on true experience, all the more astonishing for its stylistically dazzling linguistic facility. ‘Kathrin Schmidt is back. Rejoice!’ Wrote Vladimir Balzer in Die Welt. The difficult experience of illness becomes added to Schmidt’s hallmark themes of love, the body, gender and genealogy, historiography and memory.

In 2009 You’re not dying was the triumphant winner of the German Book Prize, pipping to the post the recent Nobel Prize-winner Hertha Muller, who was also shortlisted. Schmidt’s writing career is littered with multiple prestigious prizes for both her poetry and prose.

Schmidt’s writings are framed by her politics. She co-edited a feminist journal in East Berlin in the early years of the united Germany, and represented the United Left faction at round-table discussions at the time of reunification. Before becoming a writer she trained as a psychologist.

• translated into 13 languages – now, at last, into English!
• voted Best Book by German radio & TV platform SWR

A haunting book. […] Kathrin Schmidt is back. We can rejoice! Vladimir Balzer, Die Welt

An outstanding, true novel Meike Fessmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung

a stylistically dazzling book Alexander Riebel, Die Tagespost

A great novel about illness, language and identity […] Kathrin Schmidt is one of the most important authors of her generation in Germany. Literaturen

…gets under your skin Helmut Böttiger, Die Zeit Online

Once again, Kathrin Schmidt proves to be a narrative virtuoso Der Spiegel Online

Breathtakingly accurate, Kathrin Schmidt paints the tedious path back into human existence. Neue Zürcher Zeitung

A compelling novel Michael Opitz, Deutschland Radio

a zinger, a humdinger, a fabulous shock of a novel Katie Derbyshire

Nov 212019
 


Twenty-four poems for Advent

Reflections on endings of years and of relationships, on lives lived, on beginnings, anxieties, hopes, and an uncertain future – with a dash of humour thrown in!

Sue Vickerman will be signing copies of Adventus at
LIMESTONE BOOKS
The Shambles, Market Place, Settle
Saturday 30th November from 4pm until the Christmas lights switch-on at 5pm
A free pop-in event!

‘Adventus’ – a murder at Christmas, a slash of red dissolving in an illusion of snow; the poet a wandering Orlando figure with a tsunamic sense of insecurity
The Yorkshire Times

Nov 012019
 

Jean will be launching her new collection ‘Speak to the Earth‘ at the Quaker Meeting House, Settle on Friday 8th November at 7.30.

These are searching, restless poems, haunted by both darkness and light, by how we damage the earth and how we are forever connected to it.  Their yearning for what is tender within us as well as what is wild is both a surprise and a delight.
Kim Moore

Persuasive and deeply moving
The Yorkshire Times

For Jean Stevens, love, grief, elegy, longing are insuperable states of mind, as natural as the taking of measured breaths

Stevens’ relationship with landscape is existentially-charged, and in Speak to the Earth – a message of love and nourishment to the visible universe – she offers a fitting libation to a natural world which continues to give her comfort in times of retreat and contemplation.
Steve Whitaker

Oct 292019
 

Suki Illuminated is the first in our Illustrated Books series.

The book contains photographs by Bel the photographer of Suki the life-model. The book was produced to accompany the Suki Project exhibition as part of the Three Peaks Arts trail in 2019.

Bel and Suki are fictional characters created by Sue Vickerman. Two parts of Suki’s fictional autobiography, Two Small Lives and True Life Nude are published by Naked Eye.

The images in the book offer a snapshot of a six-year collaboration between Suki and Bel.

Bel’s photographs have been taken by Mike Kilyon

Oct 032019
 

The poems in Jean Stevens’ latest collection are reflections on our relationship with the earth. They express delight in nature but also lament its loss in the uncertain times in which we live.

There is a longing for more connection: that night in my cage of sleep I dreamt of hares in the wild; and a wish to explore the edgelands between the wild and the tame: something unknown is there in the space.

Other poems express a foreboding that is at times apocalyptic: for three days now there have been no birds. Sometimes the tone is biblical: a voice came out of the mountain. A child’s innocence throws out a lifeline of hope: Maddie’s in touch with the earth, Maddie is running free.

A timely plea for us all to speak to the earth.

These are searching, restless poems, haunted by both darkness and light, by how we damage the earth and how we are forever connected to it.  Their yearning for what is tender within us as well as what is wild is both a surprise and a delight.
Kim Moore

Persuasive and deeply moving
The Yorkshire Times

For Jean Stevens, love, grief, elegy, longing are insuperable states of mind, as natural as the taking of measured breaths

Stevens’ relationship with landscape is existentially-charged, and in Speak to the Earth – a message of love and nourishment to the visible universe – she offers a fitting libation to a natural world which continues to give her comfort in times of retreat and contemplation.
Steve Whitaker

Jean Stevens’ previous poetry collections have been warmly received.

Filmic and beautiful, full of warmth and drama
     Kay Mellor OBE
An exciting contemporary voice
     Daljit Nagra
Persuasive and deeply moving
     The Yorkshire Times
A sure hand
     Ian McMillan

This new collection could possibly be her best yet.

Oct 022019
 

True Life Nude is the third part of Suki the life-model’s autobiographical trilogy. It was published in January 2020.

A Small Life and Two Small Lives are the first two parts of Suki’s life-story. At the opening of this final part of the trilogy Suki has escaped to Berlin to try and pick up the threads of her former seventeen-year relationship with Ilka. Despite Suki’s recent ‘success’ as a writer (the modest publication by a small press of her first novel) she must still work as a jobbing life-model to make ends meet.

From what has Suki ‘escaped’? Well – the trauma of a stillborn child, followed by a distractingly riotous fling with dominating control-freak Tamara: zany and fun – but a BDSM relationship didn’t look anywhere near as safe as…
…Acquiescent Ilka.

So will Berlin be the answer? Resorting to the manageable familiarity of a passionless relationship in order to write? Having to work for artists (German ones this time) to get money? Has Suki attained her dream? The pot of gold? The realisation of her raison d’etre?

And if so then why, with her literary agent keenly awaiting her next manuscript, is it proving impossible to get down to it?

If Berlin is not Suki’s final destination, then what next?

Here the writer is laid bare to her bones, then she is pared back further to the very heart of what it means to be human. This is a captivating story about a quixotic quest to find meaning through writing and poetry and art, even as the world is falling apart. Suki is a hero for our times.

Apart from being well-written, moving, smart, funny, I can’t remember the last time I read anything so interesting. It absolutely feels and reads like an important piece of writing.
Meredi Ortega

Oct 012019
 

The poems in Jean Stevens’ latest collection are reflections on our relationship with the earth. They express delight in nature but also lament its loss in the uncertain times in which we live.

There is a longing for more connection: that night in my cage of sleep I dreamt of hares in the wild; and a wish to explore the edgelands between the wild and the tame: something unknown is there in the space.

Other poems express a foreboding that is at times apocalyptic: for three days now there have been no birds. Sometimes the tone is biblical: a voice came out of the mountain. A child’s innocence throws out a lifeline of hope: Maddie’s in touch with the earth, Maddie is running free.

A timely plea for us all to speak to the earth.

These are searching, restless poems, haunted by both darkness and light, by how we damage the earth and how we are forever connected to it.  Their yearning for what is tender within us as well as what is wild is both a surprise and a delight.
Kim Moore

Persuasive and deeply moving
The Yorkshire Times

For Jean Stevens, love, grief, elegy, longing are insuperable states of mind, as natural as the taking of measured breaths

Stevens’ relationship with landscape is existentially-charged, and in Speak to the Earth – a message of love and nourishment to the visible universe – she offers a fitting libation to a natural world which continues to give her comfort in times of retreat and contemplation.
Steve Whitaker

Jean Stevens’ previous poetry collections have been warmly received.

Filmic and beautiful, full of warmth and drama
     Kay Mellor OBE
An exciting contemporary voice
     Daljit Nagra
Persuasive and deeply moving
     The Yorkshire Times
A sure hand
     Ian McMillan

This new collection could possibly be her best yet.