Saturday, 28 September 2013

Five Leaves is opening a bookshop in Nottingham!

Press Release: immediate
New independent bookshop to open in Nottingham

The Nottingham-based publisher, Five Leaves is to open a bookshop in Nottingham, the first independent bookshop in the city since 2000.

The bookshop will open in mid-November at 14a Long Row, opposite the Tourist Information Centre, in premises that have been used as an art gallery and a café and will trade under the name Five Leaves Bookshop.

Ross Bradshaw, owner of Five Leaves, said “When I came to Nottingham in the late 70s there were several independent bookshops and in subsequent years various chains were represented, but for many years there has only been Waterstones in the city centre. It's a great shop but there's plenty room for an independent as well.”

The new bookshop will specialise in history, politics and landscape; fiction and poetry; lesbian and gay books; and international writing, with an emphasis on independent publishers

Ross Bradshaw added “Nottinghamshire has a flourishing literature scene, with more professional writers than ever and a very active events programme including the longstanding Lowdham Book Festival which I've been involved with since the start. The bookshop will provide another focus and we will work with local and national writers to build the shop's own programme. The premises became available suddenly and we are working hard to open by mid-November. Several of our own writers and other local publishers are pitching in to help.”

Initial events will include a memorial evening for the Nobel Literature Prize winner Seamus Heaney and a speaker from the peace movement in Israel.

One of Nottingham's leading writers, Jon McGregor, said “I'm hugely excited at the prospect of a new independent bookshop in Nottingham. Despite the impact of online retailing, there is still a place for the personalised experience of a well-run independent bookshop; not just as a place to buy a book, but as the hub for a community of readers and writers. Ross Bradshaw has many years of experience in publishing and bookselling, and I'm sure will make a fine job of it; I'm equally sure that Nottingham's thriving community of writers and readers will support the venture from day one."

The Five Leaves Bookshop will complement other local independents including The Bookcase in Lowdham and the graphic novel specialists Page 45 in Nottingham city centre.

For further information please contact Ross Bradshaw,, 0115 9895465 (w) 0115 9693597 (h).

Ross Bradshaw worked at Mushroom Bookshop in Nottingham from 1979-1995 (the shop closed in 2000) and since then has run Five Leaves Publications, initially part-time while working as Nottinghamshire County Council's literature office, then full time. He is a trustee of the East Midlands Book Award and the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing. Five Leaves jointly runs the Lowdham Book Festival with The Bookcase in Lowdham, the biggest book festival in the region. Together with Housmans Bookshop in London, Five Leaves established the London Radical Book Fair in 2012.

Five Leaves Publications forthcoming books include a collection of essays on Crime, a biography of the architectural writer Ian Nairn and A Brief History of Whistling by Nottingham writers John Lucas and Allan Chatburn.

Five Leaves Bookshop will be linked to the social enterprise Howie-Smith Project, which supports small creative enterprises in Nottingham.
The Five Leaves Bookshop will open for trading on 9th November, but there will be a grand opening on 16th November with events in the shop all day.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Nairn night at the LRB

Ian Nairn: Words in Place. With Gillian Darley, David McKie and Owen Hatherley

Tuesday 19 November at 7.00 p.m. 
Ian Nairn erupted onto the architectural scene in 1955 with the publication of The Architectural Review issue ‘Outrage’. A mathematician by training, and a former RAF pilot with no formal architectural education, Nairn’s visceral and savage attack on the blandness of post-war British design struck an immediate chord with a surprisingly diverse array of traditionalists and modernists, and gave rise to a new concept: that of ‘Subtopia’. Gillian Darley and David McKie’s study of Nairn - Ian Nairn: Words in Place – published by Five Leaves, introduces to a new generation an architectural critic whose work has influenced writers and critics such as J.G. Ballard, Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Jonathan Meades, who once described Nairn as ‘a great poet of the metropolis’. Gillian Darley and David McKie will be discussing Ian Nairn’s life and work, and Owen Hatherley, author of A New Kind of Bleakand A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain will be in the chair.
Full details: 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Calvert Journal and Yiddish writers

Calvert Journal is new to me, but it is an ezine I'll need to watch out for. Not only has Owen Hatherley written about the Moscow Metro (a joy for anyone to see) but he has written a long review of the Five Leaves book From Revolution to Repression - Soviet Yiddish writing 1917-1952 in which is included some of the early Chagall illustrations reprinted from the book. (I mention them as one of the illos appears in the current Chagall exhibition in Liverpool, but is wrongly attributed there!). The journal specialises in Russian art and life.
We are very pleased with the review - perhaps too long to reprint here, other than the start: Current events must make the recent opening of a Museum of Tolerance in Moscow look like a bad joke. The museum in fact concentrates on a quite specific area of “tolerance” — the experience of Russian Jews. As ever, the word “tolerance” suggests a certain guilty conscience. Historically, Russia's Jews were perhaps the most visible minority in a territory which has always been a multiplicity of different groups, languages and peoples, entirely inadequately subsumed under the term “Russian”. Even after the break-up of the USSR, the Russian Federation still includes many autonomous republics and national territories inherited from the old Russian Federated Soviet Republic. A new book, From Revolution to Repression: Soviet Yiddish Writing, 1917-52 (Five Leaves Press), edited by the late Yiddishist Joseph Sherman, is a reminder of the distinctive culture that arose in this space — and a reminder of why some would prefer to forget it.
The whole review is on
Hatherley seems to suddenly be in Five Leaves' orbit as he is also a contributor to our forthcoming book on Ian Nairn.
From Revolution to Repression has sold its first printing, but the reprint will be through very shortly.

Ian Nairn book now available for pre-order

Monday, 2 September 2013

Colin Ward goes electric

There's a minor dispute at Five Leaves Towers. We are split between thinking Colin Ward would have grasped the possibility of ebooks or he would have been quite uninterested. No matter, we've just put the short memorial volume to Colin up as an ebook. Colin was an educator, an anarchist and an inspiration for much of what we do at Five Leaves, so it would have been churlish to let this volume go out of print. The booklet sold, we think, about 600 copies, reflecting how well Colin was regarded in all his areas of interest.
Here it is as an ebook:
Sorry about the fuzzy illustration here - I'll try to get a better one.