By Eccleston!

I’m chuffed to announce that the actor Christopher Eccleston will be reading one of my short stories at a special online event in February. Eccleston – Emmy Award-winning actor (and the ninth Doctor) – has selected my story, “Withen”, to read at a live Zoom event organised by Housmans Bookshop in London to promote an anthology of protest fiction and essays published by Comma Press.

Protest: Stories of Resistance explores and commemorates key moments of British defiance and people power as part of Comma’s history-into-fiction project, featuring contributions from writers such as Kit de Waal, David Constantine, Courttia Newland, Kate Clanchy, Jacob Ross, Sara Maitland and Alexei Sayle, alongside essays by historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses.

My story focuses on the so-called Battle of Orgreave during the 1984-85 miners’ strike and was written in consultation with Prof. David Waddington, of Sheffield Hallam University, who attended the Orgreave mass-picket as an academic observer and is a leading authority on the policing of political unrest. As well as appearing in the Protest anthology, for which it was commissioned, “Withen” has also been published in my solo collection of short stories, Letters Home (Comma Press, 2017). It tells the tale of Orgreave through the eyes of a young man whose father is injured during the violence and whose family is bitterly divided by the strike.

After the reading, Eccleston will be joined by me and Prof. Waddington to discuss the events at Orgreave and its inspiration for our collaboration on this story and an accompanying essay. This will be one of two live events on consecutive evenings hosted by Housmans, an independent bookshop, in Kings Cross, London, specialising in books, magazines and periodicals of radical interest and progressive politics. The second event features the actor Maxine Peake reading Maggie Gee’s story about a strike by night cleaners in the 1970s.

My event takes place via Zoom on Tuesday February 9th from 7.00-8.30pm. Tickets, which must be pre-booked, are priced at £1 (concessions), £3 standard, or £12.99 to include a copy of the book.

For more information and to sign up to one or both events, follow this link to the Housmans website.

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