Simon Bill and Matthew Collings discuss Artist in Residence at launch event at Libreria

Artist/author Simon Bill launches his new title, Artist in Residence, at Libreria‘s hip new venue in Hoxton in discussion with art critic, author and broadcaster Matthew Collings. Can an author satirise the contemporary art scene without fear of being labelled a philistine? Yes. If he’s a highly regarded abstract expressionist painter, perceptive enough to skewer the vanities and absurdities of the profession and equipped with the comic talents of a latter day Evelyn Waugh.  Bill’s advice of how to get ahead at art school, segueing into an imagined installation involving kayaks filled with golden syrup, was both salutary and a hoot.


Simon Bill and Matthew Collings take a cerebral view of contemporary art at Libreria, Hoxton.

Simon Bill and Matthew Collings take a cerebral view of contemporary art at Libreria, Hoxton.

Sort of authors donate best loved titles to help Syrian refugee and migrant crisis.

Kathleen Jamie, Chris Stewart and Tove Jansson (via her family estate) are to donate thousands of copies of their best loved titles to the Waterstones Syrian migrant crisis appeal. The books will appear on dedicated ‘Buy Books for Syria’ tables available at Waterstones’ branches throughout the UK from Thursday 1st October. It was Sort of Books co-director Mark Ellingham who devised this fundraising idea, so we are delighted to be playing a part in making it a reality, together with three of our bestselling (and generous) authors. The ambition is for Waterstones to sell a million pounds’ worth of books – every penny of which will go to Oxfam’s work with Syrian refugees and displaced people in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, and at arrival points in Italy, Greece and Macedonia.

Jonathan Buckley shortlisted for BBC National Short Story Award

Sort of Books congratulate Jonathan Buckley on his short story Briar Road being shortlisted for the prestigious BBC National Short Story Award 2015.


Chair of the judging panel, Allan Little, described Briar Road yesterday on BBC R4 Front Row, as ‘tremendously effective with a slow, understated, gradual reveal . . . very strong, very subtle . . . the atmosphere that builds up is tremendously powerful and offers a twist you just don’t see coming.”

Jonathan Buckley’s novels have been described as ‘intensely compassionate’ and ‘astoundingly observed’. His latest, the river is the river, (Sort of Books, July 2015) is considered his ‘most perfect yet’. (James McConnachie,The Author).


Tove Jansson to appear on €2 coin

Tove Jansson is being honoured with a commemorative €2 coin to mark the centenary of her birth. This news was hailed in a Guardian editorial which reminded us that Jansson is ‘a poet of solitude and of love, of family and idiosyncrasy, of courage and absurdity. No writer could be further from tweeness or sentimentality. Although she wrote in Swedish with daunting economy and power, the exuberance of her imagination survived translation into many languages and from the smallest My to the largest Groke her characters have enriched us all.’