Luke Roberts, David Hackbridge Johnson and others Review Grey Suit’s recent books.

Here are links to several reviews of some of our books – up to the start of Autumn 2021.

And as editor of Grey Suit Editions UK, I very much recommend The Cross of Carl .

This extraordinary fiction written in World War 1 by Walter Owen, but only published in 1931 is a long-neglected classic of hallucinatory writing.

John Ashbery once said to me that he was interested in the byways of literature – for aspiring writers, these lesser known works of genius can be more rewarding, more inspiring than the canon of approved classics. Grey Suit intends to publish works such as The Cross of Carl whenever we come across a neglected book that deserves serious reappraisal.

Grey Suit’s reviews in The Alchemy Spoon.

Please find reviews of Loraine Mariner’s Anchorage (p74) and Iliassa Sequin’s Collected Complete Poems (p 101) in issue 4 of The Alchemy Spoon by following the link: https://www.calameo.com/read/006240328939df95c44c7?authid=PgLe8IRv1QEj or by visiting the website www.alchemyspoon.org

The launch of issue 4 will be on Sept 11, at 7.30 on Alchemy Spoon’s YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpENF_vjwEX5yN-Mm6EJnGA) should you care to join.

Grey Suit Editions: Our books part 2 – Larger Publications

Click on each title for the link to more information!

Gertrude Mabel May – An ABC of Gertrude Stein’s Love Triangle – by Gwendolyn Leick.

Written by Mabel Haynes’s granddaughter following the fortuitous discovery of her grandmother’s connection to Stein, this is an innovative exploration of an intimate, complex relationship between three women.

While this book doesn’t follow a chronological form, its subject could be said to begin with Gertrude Stein’s first novel, Q.E.D., which was never published during her lifetime. Q.E.D. represents Stein’s attempt to deal with her first love affair with May Bookstaver, who was also the friend and lover of Mabel Haynes. All three were students at the same Boston medical school: “they came of age in the gilded age and were of a class that expected them to display themselves with the right cut of their garments, the right sort of bearing to carry it off.” While the impact and influence of these women on Stein’s writing has been examined, this is the first time the lives of the women themselves have been fully explored.

The Step is the Foot  – Dance and its relationship to Poetry by Anthony Howell

This fascinating study into the relationship between dance and poetry – the “step” of dance, and the “foot” of verse – presents a complex, intricate interlacing of disciplines. Dappled with personal anecdotes alongside probing evolutionary questions, historical depth and contemporary insights, it is at once thought-provoking and engaging.

The author’s experience as both a dancer and poet inform his unique investigation. He ascribes his long-held passion for both to a deep-rooted childhood awareness of rhythm: “Rhythm is common to both pursuits. Increasingly I have come to feel that dance is a language and that language is a dance.”

Collected Complete Poems – by Iliassa Sequin

Iliassa Sequin was born in 1940 on a small island in the Cyclades, where her father was a high school teacher. Soon after the family moved to Athens.

With musicality in language uppermost in her concerns she developed an original poetic style and this led to her being befriended by Odysseas Elytis (later a Nobel prize winner). Family opposition to her career as a writer and an actress prompted her to move to Germany. From then on she flitted between Germany, Italy, France and Sweden becoming a friend of Peter Weiss and Susan Sontag, Giuseppe Ungaretti, André du Bouchet and Paul Celan. John Ashbery published her work in the Partisan Review, and a sequence of her quintets was published by Peter Gizzi in O-blek Editions. Later she moved to Britain, and married the artist Ken Sequin. Her work is notable for its musical beauty, its distinct structure and particular typographical decisions. She died in the winter of 2019.

The Cross of Carl – An Allegory – by Walter Owen

First published in 1931, The Cross of Carl is a book describing trench warfare with a visionary intensity. It is a masterpiece of the imagination, and one of the most terrifying books you will ever read. The Times Literary Supplement review, on 16 July 1931, called the book “A war allegory” that, “brings back the ugly side of war psychology; it is a description of one of the ‘corpse factories’ of legend – an unbearably ghastly description… This record of what the author himself describes as “an abnormal pathological process” induced by the psychic perturbations of the War, is put forward in the belief that the experience may foreshadow some sort of development in the collective consciousness of mankind.” It was foresight, in a way, but of something more horrible, which would be the Nazi holocaust of World War II.