A recent article in The Bookseller talked about the importance of regional publishers, and the impossibility of dragging the London publishing companies and agents out of their self-determined comfort zone (I looked for it for ages and couldn’t find it, will post it if I do). The Bookseller also this year established its inaugural Regional Small Press Award, as part of the British Book Awards (my company, Handheld Press, was a regional finalist).
A few days ago I spotted a post on Twitter asking for suggestions for London novels for a reading list. I’ve been a Londoner, in that I lived there for nine happy, tumultuous years in my twenties, and many of the important things in my life happened then and there. But I’ve lived in many other places too, and by golly I get tired of London’s overweening self-importance, particularly from the British media.
So, with all this zeigeisty appreciation for the regions happening, I decided that Action must be taken, and I reposted that tweet asking for non-London novels.
A few days later, with a mass of contributions flooding in, I have a list of over 150 non-London novels organised by their regional locations. Take a look. Add your suggestions. Let’s grow this thing as a public resource. And let’s read the novels and celebrate the novelists that write about life outside London.