NEW TITLES AVAILABLE NOW FROM STRANGE ATTRACTOR PRESS
A Zelig-like character, Hollingshead became a key player in London’s early LSD scene, where he established the World Psychedelic Centre in swinging Chelsea. Following a spell in prison, where he dosed KGB spy George Blake, he continued to pursue adventures with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, established a psychedelic commune on a remote Scottish island, created the first electronic I Ching installation, published an underground magazine, and spent time in Nepal, before dying a mysterious death in Bolivia in the 1980s. Divine Rascal tells his improbable story for the first time
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andy Roberts is widely regarded as an authority on contemporary folklore and psychedelic history. He is the author of several books, most recently Acid Drops: Adventures in Psychedelia and Albion Dreaming: A Popular History of LSD in Britain.
Dead Fashion Girl
PB, 440pp 148mm x 210mm
“A remarkable achievement in every way. Quite something!”
In 1954, Jean Mary Townsend was strangled with her own scarf and stripped of her underwear.The subsequent police investigation was bungled, leading to a six-decade cover-up, ensuring that this twenty-one-year-old fashion designer was effectively killed twice: first bodily, and then as her significance and her memory were erased. Fred Vermorel’s forensic, troubling (and trouble-making) investigation digs deep into Jean Townsend’s life and times, and her transgressive bohemian milieu. It disentangles the lies and bluffs that have obscured this puzzling case for over half a century and offers a compelling solution to her murder and the official secrecy surrounding it.
More than just a true crime story, Vermorel’s account deploys Townsend’s death as a wild card methodology for probing the 1950s: a cesspit of vice and violence, from coprophiles to bombsite gangs and flick knives in cinemas. Densely illustrated with archival material, Dead Fashion Girl is a heavily researched, darkly curious exposé of London’s 1950s society that touches on celebrity, royalty, the post-war establishment, and ultimately, tragedy.
About the Author
Fred Vermorel is a pioneer of the in-depth study of celebrity and fan cultures, best known for his controversial “antibiographies” of pop icons including the Sex Pistols, Kate Bush, Vivienne Westwood, and Kate Moss.
Our Fatal Magic
by Tai Shani
Introduction by Bridget Crone
PB, 200pp £12.99
‘Tai Shani’s writing is both oracular and forensic. We each know the power of the first cut and in Our Fatal Magic the cut becomes a sybil, answering each riddle by posing another.
Mesmeric and enlightening.’ – Linder Sterling
Our Fatal Magic is a collection of feminist science fiction vignettes by contemporary artist Tai Shani.
Foregrounding explorations of sensation, experience, and interiority, these twelve fantastical prose pieces – drawn from Shani’s epic DC:Semiramis project – refract their ideas through a series of curious characters, from Medieval Mystics to Cubes of Flesh, Sirens to Neanderthal Hermaphrodites.
Drawing on the speculative narrative strategies pioneered by writers like Marge Piercy, Octavia Butler and others, Our Fatal Magic metabolises new and necessary fictions from feminist and queer theory to propose an erotic and often violent space of critique in which gender constructs are destabilised, alternative histories imagined, and post-patriarchal futures proposed.
With an introduction by Bridget Crone.
Bonding the mythological and the poetic with the piercingly contemporary that is, inevitably, a painfully acute register of the lived traumas of gender, racialization, age and diverse embodiment in a society defined by hierarchy and exclusion, Our Fatal Magic takes its unique place in a genealogy of brilliant fictional worlds created by women as testimonies and challenges to the world they have to endure. Tai Shani has reached deep into the dark powers of gothic literature and science fiction to trace an imaginative, polyvocal and visually sumptuous journey that often defies reason. It is exhilarating to encounter a work of such originality, ambition, depth, humour, eroticism, wit and pathos. – Griselda Pollock
COMING THIS AUTUMN