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JUST PUBLISHED ‘Immensely generous and humane’ Arundhati Roy 9781846687426


B Format Paperback

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Publisher’s Introduction The Loss Adjustor Aifric Campbell A Rocket in My Pocket Max Décharné

Classics Classics: Devil in a Blue Dress Walter Mosley Classics: We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver Classics: The Book of Disquiet Fernando Pessoa Classics: Shoedog George Pelecanos Killer Dave Zeltserman A Very British Coup Chris Mullin The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives Lola Shoneyin Repeat It Today With Tears Anne Peile Seconds Out Martin Kohan The Last Patriarch Najat El-Hachmi The Mistress of Nothing Kate Pullinger Black Rock Amanda Smyth War Damage Elizabeth Wilson Fifty Grand Adrian McKinty Broken Glass Alain Mabanckou Recently Published Essential Fiction Essential Crime Essential Non-Fiction Agents & Representatives

Introduction It’s a sure sign of maturity when a publisher starts a classics list. While accepting the need to age gracefully, we hope that Serpent’s Tail Classics will be a reminder of our varied and iconoclastic youth. Striking new covers reintroduce our biggest hits: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver’s Orange Prize winner, sits alongside Walter Mosley’s first novel Devil in a Blue Dress, Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, which we first published in 1993 and Shoedog, by producer and writer on The Wire George Pelecanos.

Serpent’s Tail 3A Exmouth House Pine Street London EC1R 0JH 020 7841 6300

As well as established authors, we have four new voices. Aifric Campbell’s novel, The Loss Adjustor, is about the parts of our lives that can’t be quantified. Najat El-Hachmi’s The Last Patriarch shocked Catalan society when it was published in 2008. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, Lola Shoneyin’s first novel, is a hilarious and subtle portrait of a country caught between the customs of the past and the lifestyles of the future. Anne Peile’s Repeat It Today With Tears is bound to spark the kind of controversy Serpent’s Tail is famous for. The stuff classics are made of. Enjoy,

Pete Ayrton Publisher

e Every time I visit it is that moment of solemn reflection that comes to mind: the three of us holding hands, Estelle in the middle at her insistence. I can still feel the dry heat of her clasp, Cormac’s pulsing palm on my right, both held in a grip that seemed eternal. And although I should be used to it by now, I am still periodically astounded that there is only one, that I have been left alone.


The Loss Adjustor Aifric Campbell

Haunting and humane, The Loss Adjustor contemplates grief, forgiveness and redemption Caro is a loss adjustor: tallying injury for a City firm, she finds relief in the fact that the human cost is never itemised in her inventories. Sometimes she tries to force a little perspective with a spare summary of that terrible summer twenty years ago, when her band of three inseparable friends disintegrated forever. Estelle died two weeks after her fifteenth birthday. It was sudden, violent, explicit. Afterwards, Cormac left and never returned. Now Caro waits for resolution, which comes in the form of an unlikely alliance. Aifric Campbell’s second novel is filled with longing, for childhood, lost love and the liberating power of friendship. ‘A storyteller of really immense gifts. She combines a unique sensibility with a prose of shimmering beauty’ Joseph O’Connor, author of Star of the Sea

• Literary fiction with a strong voice and a mystery at its heart • Inspired by the history of the author’s house and surrounding Sussex countryside

Aifric Campbell was born in Ireland. As a convent schoolgirl in Dublin, her greyhound won the Irish Derby. She moved to Sweden where she completed a linguistics degree and lectured in semantics at the University of Göteborg. She spent thirteen years as an investment banker in London before leaving to study psychotherapy and creative writing. She now lives in Sussex with her husband and son. Her first novel, The Semantics of Murder, is also published by Serpent’s Tail.

NEW TITLE FEBRUARY Hardback | Demy | 224 pp | Fiction | £12.99 | 9781846687303 | eISBN 9781847652324 | UK COM


A Rocket in My Pocket Max Décharné

A Rocket in My Pocket is the story of rockabilly, the ’50s howl of rage that started rock and roll Rockabilly had its roots in country, blues, folk, hillbilly, R&B, boogie-woogie and most other indigenous Deep South forms of popular song that you could strum three chords along to or yowl down a cheap microphone. It was young people’s music, made almost entirely by the first wave of teenagers, despised by adults in general and the country music establishment in particular. Likewise, rockabilly has had a love/hate relationship with the mainstream ever since Elvis became respectable in the eyes of straight society. With drink, drugs, sex, guns and mayhem, A Rocket in My Pocket is a rhythmheavy introduction to an indispensible genre.

• First history of rockabilly – the genre that gave rise to Elvis, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and many more • Current revival of rockabilly music and fashion – see Kitty, Daisy and Lewis • 30 black & white illustrations

Max Décharné has written about music regularly for Mojo magazine since 1998, where he is their chief authority on rockabilly music, which he has followed and played since the 1970s. His work has also appeared in the Sunday Times, TLS and Bizarre. He is the author of six books, the most recent of which is King’s Road – The Rise & Fall of the Hippest Street in the World. He is lead singer in the band The Flaming Stars.


Paperback Original | Demy | 336 pp | Music | £12.99 | 9781846687211 | eISBN 9781847652416 | World


Serpent’s Tail Classics ‘Serpent’s Tail is a consistently brave, exciting and almost deliriously diverse publisher. I salute you!’ Will Self


Devil in a Blue Dress Walter Mosley

The award-winning first novel that immediately established Mosley as a great American writer Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a war veteran just fired from his job. Drinking in a friend’s bar, he wonders how to meet his mortgage when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty with a reputation. In the sleazy, fearful city, Easy must rely on his instincts, not just to solve the case, but to save his life. ‘A first novel of astonishing virtuosity, upending Chandler’s LA to show a dark side of a different kind’

Sunday Times ‘What makes Mosley so important in American literature is not just his ability to pen novels that grab you by the throat, but the way his heroes reflect the uncertainty, the fears and the moral dilemmas of America’ Daily Express ‘Mr Mosley makes us root for Easy Rawlins, a black knight-errant, and his lawless sidekick, Raymond Mouse Alexander, an armed and dangerous Sancho Panza’ New York Times

• The hit film of the same name starred Denzel Washington

Walter Mosley is the author of over twenty critically acclaimed books and his work has been translated into twenty-one languages. His popular mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins began with Devil in a Blue Dress in 1990. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he now lives in New York.


Paperback | B Format | 224 pp | Crime Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846686832 | eISBN 9781847652362 | UK COM

We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver

The Orange Prize winning, million copy bestseller Eva never wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails. ‘Once in a while, a stunningly powerful novel comes along, knocks you sideways and takes your breath away: this is it… horrifying, original, witty, brave and deliberately provocative’ Daily Mail ‘This startling shocker strips bare motherhood… the most remarkable Orange prize victor so far’  Polly Toynbee, Guardian

• The must-read book of the noughties • Discussed at book groups, dinner parties and between couples considering parenthood

Lionel Shriver’s books include Orange Prize–winner We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Post-Birthday World and Double Fault. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds and book reviews for the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Marie Claire and many other publications. She lives in London and Brooklyn, NY.

CLASSICS PAPERBACK MAY Paperback | B Format | 512 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687341 | eISBN 9781847651747 | UK COM ex ANZ


The Book of Disquiet Fernando Pessoa

A prize-winning international classic, first published in English by Serpent’s Tail in 1993 Sitting at his desk, Bernardo Soares imagines himself free forever of Rua dos Douradores, of his boss Vasques, of Moreira the book-keeper, of all the other employees, the errand boy, the post boy, even the cat. But if he left them all tomorrow and discarded the suit of clothes he wears, what else would he do? Because he would have to do something. A self-deprecating reflection on the sheer distance between the loftiness of his feelings and the humdrum reality of life, The Book of Disquiet is a classic of existentialist literature. ‘In a time which celebrates fame, success, stupidity, convenience and noise, here is the perfect antidote’ John Lanchester, Daily Telegraph ‘A meandering, melancholic series of reveries and meditations. Pessoa’s amazing personality is as beguiling and mysterious as his unique poetic output’ William Boyd ‘A complete masterpiece, the sort of book one makes friends with’ Paul Bailey, Independent

• Chosen by Phillip Pullman for his 2008 Waterstone’s Writer’s Table Fernando Pessoa, one of the founders of modernism, was born in Lisbon in 1888. He grew up in South Africa, where his stepfather was Portuguese consul. He returned to Lisbon in 1905 and worked as a clerk in an import-export company until his death in 1935. Most of Pessoa’s writing was not published during his lifetime; The Book of Disquiet first came out in Portuguese in 1982.


Translated by Margaret Jull Costa 8

Paperback | B Format | 272 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687358 | eISBN 9781847652379 | WEL


George Pelecanos A stand-alone thriller by an acclaimed writer on The Wire Constantine is a drifter with a lot of miles behind him, a lot more ahead and plenty of jobs in between that never showed up on anyone’s books. Back in his home town, he hitches a ride on a bright spring morning with a little man named Polk. There’s one stop Polk needs to make, and it changes Constantine’s life forever. Like the kind of cars they don’t make anymore and the kind of songs they don’t sing, Shoedog has the style, rhythm and muscle of a classic. ‘One of the best crime novelists alive, George Pelecanos is an American original’ Dennis Lehane ‘For some time George Pelecanos has been the best-kept secret in crime fiction, maybe all fiction. His stories have always been powerful tales of character and survival that grip the mind and the heart’ Michael Connelly ‘The coolest writer in America’ GQ

• An award-winning writer, nominated for an Emmy for his work on The Wire

George Pelecanos was born in Washington, D.C. in 1957. He worked as a line cook, dishwasher, bartender, and woman’s shoe salesman before publishing his first novel in 1992. He has since written fourteen crime novels set in and around Washington and was a writer, producer and story editor on the acclaimed TV series The Wire. He lives in Maryland.

CLASSICS PAPERBACK MAY Paperback | B Format | 208 pp | Crime Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687365 | eISBN 9781847652386 | UK COM



Dave Zeltserman Hardboiled noir by a rising US star: the third in Zeltserman’s ‘badass gets out of jail’ series Leonard March walks free from jail after fourteen years’ hard time, served after turning state’s witness against his Mafia boss Salvatore Lombard. It was only after Leonard was sentenced that the public learned that he was a Mob hitman with eighteen deaths to answer for. Leonard is released to public outrage and a media furore. He spends his time working as a janitor while looking over his shoulder, fearful of a vigilante attack or a revenge hit from his former colleagues. At sixty-two and with plenty of time on his hands, he is at an age when most men grow reflective and attempt to understand their mark on the world. But for Leonard, while the threats to his safety are not imagined, self-reflection may pose the greatest threat of all.

Praise for Pariah: ‘A white-knuckle ride... different kinds of venality are put wittily under the microscope as the book rattles along to its terrific conclusion’ Metro

Praise for Small Crimes: ‘[The] uncompromising plot culminates with a genuinely astonishing finale’ Sunday Express

Dave Zeltserman lives in Boston with his wife Judy; he’s a die-hard Patriots and Red Sox fan and when he’s not writing crime fiction, he spends his time working on his black belt in Kung Fu. Small Crimes and Pariah are also published by Serpent’s Tail.

Zeltserman blogs at


Paperback Original | B Format | 224 pp | Crime Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846686443 | eISBN 9781847652300 | WORLD

A Very British Coup Chris Mullin

Now back in print with Serpent’s Tail – the acclaimed political thriller from the celebrated diarist of A View from The Foothills Former steelworker Harry Perkins has, against all the odds, led the Labour Party to a stunning victory at the general election. His manifesto includes the removal of American bases, public control of finance and the dismantling of the newspaper monopolies. The Establishment is appalled by the prospect, and secretly decides that something must be done. As MI5 conspires with the City and the press barons, Perkins the PM finds himself in a no-holds-barred battle for survival. ‘A delicious fantasy... crisply written and the story belts along’ Observer ‘Chris Mullin’s book is the first for some time that I have stayed awake to finish’ Ken Livingstone

• Timely reissue at the close of the New Labour era • Will appeal to fans of political satires In the Loop and The Thick of It • Adapted for a celebrated Channel 4 production starring Ray McAnally, A Very British Coup is soon to be remade as a wholly new drama series

Chris Mullin has been Member of Parliament for Sunderland South since 1987. Before being elected as an MP, he worked as a journalist on the ITV documentary programme World in Action and was editor of Tribune. A Very British Coup is his best known novel to date. His political diaries, A View from the Foothills, are published by Profile Books.

PAPERBACK JANUARY Paperback | B Format | 224 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687402 | eISBN 9781847652270 | WORLD


‘When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife’s childlessness’

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives Lola Shoneyin A riotous domestic African novel about rivalry, secrets and jealous wives To the dismay of her overbearing mother, Bolanle marries into a polygamous family, where she is the fourth wife of a rich, rotund patriarch, Baba Segi. She is a graduate and therefore a great prize, but even graduates must produce children and her husband’s persistent bellyache is a sign that things are not as they should be. Bolanle is too educated for the ‘white garment conmen’ Baba Segi would usually go to for remedy, so he takes her to hospital to discover the cause of her barrenness. Weaving the voices of Baba Segi and his four wives into a portrait of a clamorous household of twelve, Lola Shoneyin evokes an extraordinary Nigerian family in splashes of vibrant colour.

• Vivid characterisations and histories of four very different women • Author is a teacher, poet and performer with dramatic flair

Lola Shoneyin has published three collections of poems. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is her debut novel. Having lived in London and the South East for several years, Shoneyin has recently moved to Abuja, Nigeria, to teach drama and English at a local school.

NEW TITLE APRIL Paperback Original | Demy | 256 pp | Fiction | £10.99 | 9781846687488 | eISBN 9781847652355 | UK COM ex CAN, SA


‘The first time I kissed my father on the mouth it was the Easter holiday. The kiss was of such bliss that even in the moment of its ending, as there was only air between us again, I had accepted that I would never have another like it. I could say that it was an attar of kisses, worth taking even just for once in a life. The Devil is not ungenerous when he makes you a bargain. In none of this did I ever know any doubt’

Repeat It Today With Tears Anne Peile

A transgressive love story by a singular new voice A secretive child by nature, Susanna makes a covert list of everything she knows about her absent father, waiting for the day that she is reunited with him. Deeply unhappy at home, living with her overbearing mother and promiscuous sister, she stays out of the house as much as possible. When she does finally discover her father's name and find him, in the free and unconventional atmosphere of 1970s Chelsea, she conceals her identity, beginning an illicit affair that can only end in disaster. Repeat It Today With Tears is in many ways a traditional love story, as well as a skilful evocation of radical times and desires. It is a fever dream that examines our need to be loved and accepted and a piercing portrait of madness. Anne Peile is a striking new voice in fiction.

• Memorable teenage heroine • Sparkling evocation of 1970s Chelsea and the King’s Road • An ideal title for book group discussions

Anne Peile was born in London; she has lived in the South West and in Belfast, working as a cook, writing emails for the BBC and in educational support. She lives on a houseboat and works for Foyle’s bookstores.

NEW TITLE JUNE Paperback Original | Demy | 256 pp | Fiction | £10.99 | 9781846687464 | eISBN 9781847652430 | WORLD


Seconds Out Martin Kohan

English translation debut of a major contemporary South American author New York, 1923: the Argentine Luis Angel Firpo, called the Wild Bull of the Pampas, knocks out of the ring the American Jack Dempsey, heavyweight champion of the world. In Buenos Aires, Firpo is proclaimed world champion. However, Dempsey comes back and knocks the challenger out. The Wild Bull of the Pampas was world champion for only seventeen seconds. Fifty years later, a sports journalist recalls this mythical match. Another celebrates the first performance of Mahler’s First Symphony in the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, conducted by Richard Strauss, that same year. The author shows how these events are disturbingly linked.

• First English translation of lauded Argentinian novelist • Inspired by the 1923 boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Luis Angel Firpo ‘This is a subtle, complex book. A new generation of Argentinian writers, Martin Kohan and Rodrigo Fresan in the forefront, are showing that they are the worthy successors of Borges, Sabato and Bioy Casares’ Le Devoir

Martin Kohan was born in 1967 in Buenos Aires, where he lives now. Seconds Out is the first of his novels to be translated into English. Ciencias Morales, his latest novel, won the prestigious Herralde Novel Prize in Spain and will be published by Serpent’s Tail in 2011.

NEW TITLE MAY Translated by Nick Caistor 16

Paperback Original | B Format | 224 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846686375 | eISBN 9781847652409 | WEL

The Last Patriarch Najat El-Hachmi

A playful debut about conflict between duty and desire, set in rural Morocco and urban Cataluña The Last Patriarch is narrated by the daughter of Mimoun Driouch – the patriarch of the title – from his birth to her entrance into university. Mimoun believes that life on his parents’ land is not his destiny, so we follow his journey from rural Morocco to urban Cataluña. Through the Driouch’s family story, El-Hachmi examines the fractured identity that results from having roots in two very distinct cultures. It is a powerful saga of a Moroccan family and the story of a girl’s struggle to find her own identity and break free of a domineering father.

• Young, talented author is already the recipient of a major prize for Catalan literature • Author in the UK for publication ‘The day didn’t start at all spectacularly; it was a day like any other. Even if those grand women in white robes that usually concern themselves with such matters had been obliged to say what foreshadowed that birth, they couldn’t have singled out anything extraordinary. There were no signs in the sky, no heavy clouds gathering on the horizon at twilight, no disturbing calm, no scorching midday sun, not even the flock of sheep seemed more excitable than usual.’

Najat El-Hachmi was born in Morocco in 1979. At the age of eight, she emigrated to Cataluña with her family. Her novel The Last Patriarch won the prestigious Ramon Llull Prize in 2008.

NEW TITLE APRIL Translated by Peter Bush

Paperback Original | Demy | 224 pp | Fiction | £9.99 | 9781846687174 | eISBN 9781847652393 | WEL


The Mistress of Nothing Kate Pullinger

Based on Lucie Duff Gordon’s Letters from Egypt, this is a lush, evocative novel Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London until her debilitating tuberculosis means exile. So she sets sail, with her devoted lady’s maid Sally, for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd ménage marshalled by the resourceful Omar, which travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons and excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, affording her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. ‘Scorchingly powerful’ Good Housekeeping ‘A fascinating, intelligent novel’ Kate Saunders, The Times ‘Unerring at conveying the subtle cruelties of power relationships and the incremental dawnings of love and affection. Coupled with this is an almost painterly ability to depict an Egypt alternately parched and sumptuous’ Metro ‘Absorbing, intimate, Pullinger’s story is also a subtle observation of the play of power and love’

Lisa Appignanesi Kate Pullinger was born in Canada, and moved to London in 1982. She is the author of several books, including A Little Stranger, also published by Serpent’s Tail. She collaborated with Jane Campion on the novel of the film The Piano, and has written for film, television and radio.


Paperback | B Format | 272 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687112 | eISBN 9781847652423 | UK COM ex CAN

Black Rock

Amanda Smyth ‘The kind of novel that leaves your head filled with gorgeous pictures’ Kate Saunders, The Times Celia’s mother died bringing her into the world: when one soul flies in, another flies out, her aunt Tassi says. So she lives in Black Rock, Tobago, with her cousins and Tassi’s second husband Roman, a man so sly he could crawl under a snake’s belly on stilts. Celia thinks Roman is the devil, so when he does something that proves her right, she runs away to Trinidad and a new life. ‘Sings with life, texture and verve’ Daily Mail ‘This beautifully assured debut is rich with the sumptuous vistas, poetry and spirit of the Caribbean... woven together with lyricism, tenderness and sensuality’ Easy Living ‘There are hints of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea throughout Smyth’s hypnotic, eerie novel... Smyth writes entrancingly’ Guardian ‘An absorbing and morally complex read with a bittersweet twist at the end’ Financial Times

• A Waterstone’s New Voices selection

Amanda Smyth is Irish/Trinidadian. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at UEA in 2000. Her short stories have been published in New Writing, London Magazine and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as part of a series called Love and Loss. Smyth was awarded an Arts Council Grant for her first novel, Black Rock.

PAPERBACK MARCH Paperback | B Format | 256 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687020 | eISBN 9781847651495 | UK COM ex CAN


War Damage

Elizabeth Wilson ‘This book is as stylish as one would hope. An evocative, escapist tale of murder and secrecy in post-war London’ Lauren Laverne, Grazia London in the aftermath of WWII is a beaten-down, hungry place, so it’s no wonder that Regine Milner’s Sunday parties in her Hampstead home are so popular. Everyone comes to Reggie’s on a Sunday: ballet dancers and cabinet ministers; leftover Mosleyites alongside flamboyant homosexuals like Freddie Buckingham. So when Freddie turns up dead on the heath one Sunday night, there is no shortage of suspects. ‘Fantastically atmospheric… with the sort of breathy dialogue that reminds you of Brief Encounter’

Sunday Express ‘[A] first class whodunit… The portrait of Austerity Britain is masterfully done’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Brilliantly evokes that bleak world of bomb sites and food shortages… Regine is an idiosyncratic, vivid protagonist’ Observer ‘An elegantly nostalgic, noir thriller’ Daily Mail

An independent researcher and writer best known for her commentaries on feminism and popular culture, Elizabeth Wilson is the author of several non-fiction books. Her novel The Twilight Hour is also published by Serpent’s Tail.


Paperback | B Format | 256 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846686924 | eISBN 9781847652331 | WEL

Fifty Grand

Adrian McKinty Cuban-American thriller from the author of The Bloomsday Dead Cuban cop Mercado has a score to settle, on behalf of a deadbeat dad, a ‘traitor’ who skipped free from Castro’s control to set up a new life working illegally in Colorado. He settled in a ski resort popular with the Hollywood set, but Hernandez Sr.’s dreams of fortune and freedom came to a swift end when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Sworn to avenge his death, Mercado has some obstacles to overcome – not least getting out of Cuba, where visas are as elusive as constant electricity. ‘A master of modern noir, up there with Dennis Lehane and James Ellroy... Fifty Grand is a blast... It’s a pleasure to be around someone so sharp and resourceful’ John O'Connell, Guardian ‘McKinty keeps his prose flinty for this noir-soaked tale, ending in a heart-stopping face-off’ Metro ‘Sometimes lyrical, always visceral and deeply-felt... If you can imagine a timeless story of crime and intrigue as envisioned by Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene... you might just begin to grasp the scale of McKinty’s audacious saga and bold new direction’ Craig McDonald

Adrian McKinty grew up in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, at the height of the Troubles. He studied politics at Oxford University and after a failed legal career he moved to the US in the early 1990s. He found work as a security guard, postman, construction worker, barman, rugby coach and bookstore clerk before becoming a school teacher. He now lives in Australia.

PAPERBACK APRIL Paperback | B Format | 320 pp | Crime Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846687419 | eISBN 9781847652348 | UK COM


Broken Glass

Alain Mabanckou ‘A dizzying combination of erudition, bawdy humour and linguistic effervescence’ Financial Times The history of Credit Gone West, a squalid Congolese bar, is related by one of its most loyal customers, Broken Glass, who has been commissioned by its owner to set down an account of the characters who frequent it. A disgraced alcoholic school teacher, Broken Glass’ love of French language and literature, which he failed to communicate to his pupils, is energetically displayed in the pages of his notebook. ‘Broken Glass is a comic romp that releases Mabanckou’s sense of humour... Although its cultural and intertextual musings could fuel innumerable doctorates, the real meat of Broken Glass is its comic brio’ Tibor Fischer, Guardian ‘Runs wild to weave endless sentences, their rhythm and pace attuned to the narrator’s rhetorical extravagances... With his sourly comic recollections, Broken Glass makes a fine companion’ Independent ‘Deserves the acclaim heaped upon it... self-mocking and ironic, a thought-provoking glimpse into a stricken country’ Waterstone's Books Quarterly

Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in Congo-Brazzaville. He currently lives in California, where he teaches French literature at UCLA. He is the author of six volumes of poetry and six novels and received the prestigious Prix Renaudot for Memoirs of a Porcupine. African Psycho is also published by Serpent’s Tail.

PAPERBACK FEBRUARY Translated by Helen Stevenson 22

Paperback | B format | 288 pp | Fiction | £7.99 | 9781846686757 | eISBN 9781847652317 | WEL

Recently Published The Isle of Dogs Daniel Davies ‘Lean prose... laconic wit’ Financial Times

The Good Plain Cook Bethan Roberts ‘Delicious… Gorgeously written, full of teasing observations’

Happiness Denis Robert ‘Exquisitely French... throbbingly intense’ William Leith, Evening Standard

The Times

9781846686597 £7.99 B Format Paperback

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The Dirty South

Blue Collar

Now You See Him

Alex Wheatle ‘Wheatle is a sharp-eyed observer’ Guardian

Danny King ‘Riotous and laughout-loud... reads like a dream’ Sunday Express

Eli Gottlieb ‘Gottlieb has a gift for precise and original imagery’ Independent on Sunday

9781846686573 £7.99 B Format Paperback

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Essential Fiction The Semantics of Murder

Boy A

Skin Lane

Jonathan Trigell

Neil Bartlett

Aifric Campbell

Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize

‘Glistening prose... a major talent’ Irish Independent

‘Trigell brilliantly depicts the pressures of living with a terrible secret’

‘Deeply moving’ The Times


9781846686580 £7.99 B Format Paperback

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The Sound of My Voice

A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy

Ron Butlin

‘One of the most inventive and daring novels ever... Playful, haunting and moving, this is writing of the highest quality’ Ian Rankin


9781852427535 £7.99 B Format Paperback

Charlotte Greig

9781852429928 £7.99 B Format Paperback

Her Privates We Frederic Manning ‘The finest and noblest book of men in war that I have ever read’ Ernest Hemingway

‘Honest and intelligent... funny and poignant’ Observer

9781852429942 £7.99 B Format Paperback

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Essential Fiction The Piano Teacher Elfriede Jelinek ‘As a portrait of repressed female sexuality and a damaged psyche, The Piano Teacher glitters dangerously’

Double Fault Lionel Shriver ‘A brilliant tale of doomed love’

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands Jorge Amado

Observer ‘A delightful read’ Financial Times


9781852427504 £7.99 B Format Paperback

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A Lesson Before Dying



Mary Gaitskill

Michel Houellebecq ‘Funny, terrifying and nauseating’

‘A transcendent and heartfelt novel of redemption’

‘A sensitive, astute and uncompromising exploration of the beauty and ugliness of human relationships’



9781852427238 £7.99 B Format Paperback

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Ernest J. Gaines


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Essential Crime 1974 David Peace ‘The evil twin of Life on Mars’ Justin Quirk, Guardian

The Bloomsday Dead Adrian McKinty ‘Packed with sharp dialogue and unremitting action’ The Times

The Kiss Murder Mehmet Murat Somer ‘A whip-smart Istanbul crime series’ Guardian

9781846687051 £7.99 B Format Paperback

9781846686603 £7.99 B Format Paperback

9781846686931 £7.99 B Format Paperback

He Died with His Eyes Open

An Olympic Death

The Singer

Derek Raymond ‘A crackerjack of a crime novel, unafraid to face the reality of man’s and woman’s evil’

Manuel Vázquez Montalbán ‘A sharp wit and knowing eye’

Cathi Unsworth ‘The best novel I have read about the punk era, and an absorbing mystery’

Sunday Times

Marcel Berlins, The Times

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Evening Standard

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Essential Non-Fiction Altered State

White Bicycles

Matthew Collin

Joe Boyd

‘I can’t recommend this marvellous piece of work enough’

‘The best book about music I have read in years’

Irvine Welsh

Brian Eno

Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung Lester Bangs ‘Wild, funny and unpredictable’ Rolling Stone

9781846687136 £8.99 B Format Paperback

9781852424893 £8.99 B Format Paperback

9781852427481 £8.99 B Format Paperback

The Strategy of Antelopes


Before Night Falls

Jean Hatzfeld ‘Hatzfeld’s great achievement is his lucid, empathetic presentation of these mesmerising, heart-wrenching, extraordinary voices’

Jeremy Scahill ‘A triumph of investigative reporting’ Naomi Klein

Reinaldo Arenas ‘One of the most shattering testimonials ever written on the subject of oppression and defiance’ Mario Vargas Llosa


9781846686863 £8.99 B Format Paperback

9781846686528 £8.99 B Format Paperback

9781852428082 £8.99 B Format Paperback

27 27

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Csaba Lengyel de Bagota



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Tula Publishing T: + 44 (0)1865 553 606 F: + 44 (0)1865 454 131 E: Catalogue by Cover by Peter Dyer


Serpent's Tail Catalogue - Spring 2010  

Serpent's Tail is an independent publisher based in London. Dedicated to publishing extravagant, outlaw voices neglected by the mainstream,...

Serpent's Tail Catalogue - Spring 2010  

Serpent's Tail is an independent publisher based in London. Dedicated to publishing extravagant, outlaw voices neglected by the mainstream,...