Pre-Order Life is War

Pre-orders for Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania are available now from the HammerOn site.

Orders will be shipped on publication date, 25 April 2016.

The book will also be available in EPUB and HB formats.

Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania is a collection of oral histories that guides readers through through the decades (1944-1992) when all aspects of life was controlled by the Communist Party.

It features six intimate interviews with Albanian men and women and reveals how everyday people survived shocking living conditions, political persecution and oppression.

Life is War examines the realities of life inside a totalitarian system and champions human resilience in the face of unrelenting political terror.

“Unparalleled in its redemptive character as far as the victims of Albanian communism are concerned. Through the act of narration this book redeems the stories and lives of its characters, which would have otherwise perished in oblivion.” (Blendi Kajsiu)

“This is a powerful book about the intensity, intimacy and imagination of story telling. Woodcock’s detailed descriptions of her impressions during two years traveling through the country leave the reader with a vivid picture of the Albanian landscape – and also of the enduring legacy of dictatorship and hardship in the lives and struggles of people today.” (Carrie Hamilton)

Shannon-WoodcockEvents

We have organised four events to celebrate the publication of Life is War.

Author Reading with Shannon Woodcock and Q & A: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania
Tuesday 24 May 2016, 7pm
£3 entry redeemable against any purchase
Housmans Book Shop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9DX

Book Launch: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania by Shannon Woodcock
Wednesday 25 May 2016, 6.30-8pm
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide
29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP

Author short speech, followed by open discussion/questions

Sunday 29 May 2016, 4-5pm
E Per7shme
Rruga Jul Variboba, 1002 Tirana, Albania

Author Reading with Shannon Woodcock and Q & A: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania
Monday 6 June 2016, 7-9pm
Hydra Books
34 Old Market St, Bristol, Avon BS2 0EZ

All the latest event news will also appear on the Life is War facebook page.

Bookfairs

HammerOn will also have tables at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on Sat 30 April and the London Radical Book Fair on 7 May.

Come and say hello! We’d love to meet people who have ideas for books we could publish in the future.

Advance Praise – Life is War

Advance praise for the next HammerOn title, Shannon Woodcock’s Life is War, published on 25 April, is hitting the HammerOn inbox.

Blendi Kajsiu, author of A Discourse Analysis of Corruption: Instituting Neoliberalism Against Corruption in Albania, 1998-2005 said ‘this book is one of those rare works that combines that best of two worlds, academia and literature. The book is rigorously academic in its investigation, analysis as well as the insights it offers. At the same time it reads like a novel that you cannot put down. Through moving individual life stories Woodcock allows the reader to peer into and understand everyday life in a totalitarian system. Hence, these are not the stories of some isolated and random individuals. They are carefully chosen and detailed accounts of individual struggles, suffering and survivals that sum up the life of a whole nation under an oppressive communist regime.

Its combination of academic rigor and literary skill sets this book apart from other works on communist Albania in particular and communism in general. As an academic work the book throws a unique and penetrative gaze on everyday life in communist Albania. One of its many academic merits here is that it dispels socially held notions in Albania about the strong rule of law under communism, as opposed to a lawless transition period, by disclosing how in everyday life Albanians experienced state power as highly arbitrary and unpredictable. As a literary work the book is unparalleled in its redemptive character as far as the victims of Albanian communism are concerned. Through the act of narration this book redeems the stories and lives of its characters, which would have otherwise perished in oblivion. One can hardly ask more of a book.’

Gail Kligman, co-author of the award-winning Peasants Under Siege: The Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962 saidLife is War gives voice to the experiences of Albanians—men, women, Romani, Vlachs among them—who survived Enver Hoxha’s notoriously repressive and increasingly isolated regime. The stories Shannon Woodcock chronicles enrich our limited knowledge of everyday life in Albania, and are a welcome addition to social histories and collected memory studies of the communist period in Eastern Europe.’

So far we have two events lined up to mark the publication of the book. Both events will take place in London, and we are working on a Bristol event. Launches will also take place in Albania, details to be confirmed. 

Author Reading with Shannon Woodcock and Q & A: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania
Tuesday 24 May 2016, 7pm
£3 entry redeemable against any purchase
Housmans Book Shop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9DX

Book Launch: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania by Shannon Woodcock
Wednesday 25 May 2016, 6.30-8pm
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide
29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP

HammerOn news update

We were delighted to read Dimitrinka Atanasovas engaged review of Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement published in the LSE Review of Books on Monday.

Here are a couple of choice phrases from the review:

“When I reached for Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement, I expected to read a historical account of what is often seen as a controversial social movement. If weight or fat is linked to obesity, variously defined as a contributor to chronic diseases or a chronic disease in its own right, how can we accept it? The book, however, surprised me. While it does offer a thorough and timely history of the fat acceptance movement broadly described as a social movement seeking to change societal attitudes towards fat people it does more than that.”

“the book can serve as an example of how doctoral research can be ‘translated’ for a wider audience. Cooper refers to academic concepts and theories, but explains them in plain and accessible language. This can be evidenced through her definitions of, for example, ‘neoliberalism’ as ‘the emphasis on individualism over collectivism’, and of ‘healthism’ as the idea that ‘health is a moral project that is the responsibility of individuals’.”

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In other news, HammerOn will be tabling at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on 30 April.

We are also in the thick of book production for Shannon Woodcock’s Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania that will be published on 25 April.

Don’t miss the HammerOn World Book Day flash sale – 20% off all titles for today only – apply coupon wbd20 at the check out.

 

Happy World Book Day!

3 March is World Book Day.

To celebrate HammerOn are offering a one day flash sale – 20% discount on all titles – apply the coupon code ‘wbd20‘ at the check out.

You still get free shipping too…

Happy reading!

Events and other news

Copy of Fat Activism in the window of Gays the WordHammerOn have a number of events lined up in the next few months.

All events are free, unless otherwise stated.

We are very excited to announce that the book launch for Shannon Woodcock’s Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania will take place at The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, London, Wednesday 25 May, 6.30-8pm.

Charlotte will be talking about her book at Queers in the Pub: Fat Activism is a Queer Social Movement on 21 March 2016, 7.30pm, The Monarch, 40-42 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8BG.

Charlotte Cooper speaks into a microphone at the Fat Activism Book launchThere will also be a Fat Activism panel discussion with Charlotte Cooper, Noreen Giffney and Naomi Segal at Birkbeck University, London on 25 April 2016. More details on that coming soon.

We hope to confirm tables at a number of radical book fairs in the coming weeks.

Another review of Charlotte’s book, written by Elaine Graham-Leigh, was published on Counterfire yesterday. Check it out!

As ever, you can get your copy of Fat Activism through the website in paperback or EPUB.

Photos from Fat Activism book launch taken by Eva Megias.

Charlotte on Radio 4’s Loose Ends

Don’t forget to tune into Charlotte speaking about her new book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends Saturday 23 January, 6pm.

The programme blurb says

‘Clive Anderson and Scottee are joined by Rafe Spall, Janet McTeer, Tom Allen and Charlotte Cooper for an eclectic mix of conversation, music and comedy. With music from Tindersticks and Vieux Farka Touré.’

What a combo!

Hardback

In other news the Hardback version of Fat Activism is now available to order. It is a lot more expensive because it is aimed at the academic/ library market.

Are you a student or academic at a university? Why not order a copy for your library.

Here’s the magic ISBN number you will need 978-1-910849-01-9.

Weirdo Zine Fest

Charlotte and HammerOn will be at Weirdo Zine fest selling copies of Fat Activism and other HammerOn titles.

This exciting event is happening Sunday 31 Jan at DIY Space for London, 96-108 Ormside Road, London, SE15 1TF, 1-5.30pm.

If you can’t wait til then, you can of course buy a copy now through the HammerOn website in paperback and EPUB.

Sale!

The Para-Academic Handbook is on sale through the HammerOn website for £10 + free shipping until the end of January.

If you’ve been meaning to get a copy, now’s your chance!

Fat Activism – Media Round Up

What a week it has been for Fat Activism!

The launch event on Friday at Gay’s the Word was simply lovely, and we sold out of all the copies we brought. Woop!

People are loving the book, as these reviews make clear.

Lynne Murray has the distinction of publishing the first online review of Fat Activism.

Murray praised Charlotte’s comprehensive research: ‘Fat Activism is an essential reference for those who want to know where the movement started and to get some ideas on where it can go from here. The breadth of Cooper’s research is amazing. Fat Activism is worth owning simply as a resource and a history of the movement. She seems to have studied and in most cases assessed almost every fat-related group, book or article created over the past 46 years. The 59-page bibliography alone is a Who’s Who and a What Happened When of fat activism.’

Ravishly cited Fat Activism in their 7 of the Best Body Positive Books to Take Into 2016 list.

Fat Positivity Belgium wrote ‘reading Cooper’s treat of a book lifts up the cause of Fat Activism from the margins to a central dialectic on the subject of body politics. Firmly at the intersections of Disability and Queer Activist discourses, Fat Activism seeks accessibility and the smashing of binaries. Cooper’s book will become a go-to source of inspiration over the years. It is required reading for anyone involved in the cause, as well as a companion to keep you going when times are tough and all seems bleak. Sophisticated and complex, she doesn’t shy away from tackling irksome problematics, rather discussing them in a way that is well-argued and thoroughly convincing, leaving no stone unturned. Her footnotes (which are prodigious) are as enlightening as the main body of her text.’

If you want to read some of the book, Open Democracy have published a excerpt on their website.

More reviews are planned for this week. Want to write one? Get in touch and we can send you a copy. We will need to know which publication the review will appear in and when. Reviews for academic journals welcome.

On Sunday Charlotte is speaking at Queer Caff in London, 6-10.30pm at the Field, New Cross.

Charlotte and HammerOn will also be at Weirdo Zine fest selling copies of Fat Activism and other HammerOn titles.

This exciting event is happening Sunday 31 Jan at DIY Space for London, 96-108 Ormside Road, London, SE15 1TF, 1-5.30pm.

If you can’t wait til then, you can of course buy a copy now through the HammerOn website in paperback and EPUB.

 

Fat Activism Published Today!

YES!

The day has finally come, Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement by Charlotte Cooper is officially released!

You can buy it from this website in paperback, EPUB and hardback.

You can also order Fat Activism at your local book store or buy it from all the usual online places.

Please feel free to tweet using the #fatactivism hashtag, or support the book in any of the following ways.

To celebrate publication we have made another film, A Walk Around Fat Activist London, which you can watch below.

 

Thanks again to Emma for making it.

The grand launch event is this Friday 8 January at Gay’s the Word, 6.30-9pm.

Pick up your copy then.

For review copies please contact us.

Make #fatactivism your new year resolution

Happy 2016 from HammerOn!

We are excited for the official launch of Charlotte Cooper’s Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement on Monday.

If you want to tweet about the book please use the #fatactivism hashtag.

Fat Activists the Chubsters dance in a group
The Chubsters – Image by Christa Holka

You can still pre-order the book here and we will promptly pop a copy in the post for you.

Books will also be on sale at the official launch event next Friday 8 January 2016 at Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB, 6.30-9pm.

On Monday we will reveal another amazing film, made by Emma Thatcher and starring Charlotte, exploring the history of Fat Activism in London.

Participants at the Fattylympics do an activity
Fattylympics – Image by Simon Murphy

Until you get your copy of Charlotte’s book, enjoy these words from the introduction.

‘Fat people are a fact of life, part of the fabric of humanity. There is evidence that we have existed for many thousands of years. We are here. There are many who would prefer fat people not to exist, but we are here regardless of whether or not we are allowed or supposed to be here. Fat people are as valuable as anyone else and our existence reveals important things about how societies operate.

A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline
A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline – Image by Charlotte Cooper

As a psychotherapist, I am interested in the ways in which people might grow towards hopes and dreams, express agency, by which I mean the capacity to choose and act independently, even within restrictive social contexts; to really live.

I see activism as a strategy for developing what Judith Butler calls “liveable lives” in contexts that are extremely trying, as well as creating social change.

How can and do fat people try to make liveable lives for ourselves and others? That’s basically what this book is about.’

Fat Activism will be with us soon

Charlotte Cooper wears a Christmas tree hat and stands proudly in front of her booksIn case you haven’t read them yet, Charlotte has published two posts to get you excited for the publication of Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement on 4 January 2016.

Five things I learnt from writing this book explains that writing and researching the book represents ‘a period of great intensity for me, about seven years or so, maybe a bit longer, of thinking and working on fat. It’s about to have a life beyond me and the many people who have supported the project over the years; it’s about to go public.’

Archiving Fat Activism is a list of archives and libraries Charlotte visited to research her book and where you can go to learn more about the history of Fat Activism.

As Charlotte makes clear: ‘Fat activist histories are so very fragile because fat people are not culturally valued and often we do not value our own lives enough to document or preserve them. The material that does get archived represents the tiniest tip of the iceberg in terms of what constitutes a social movement of fat activists.

Where people are further marginalised their legacies are even more fragile. People of colour and trans people’s fat activist archives are particularly invisible, even within archives that are already very marginal spaces.

One of the most painful experiences of being in an archive whilst looking for fat activism is the knowledge that there are terrible absences.

With this in mind, I urge fat activists to support archives that are open to documenting and preserving the evidence of our lives. Think about donating not just money but material, keep copies of things you make, encourage others to do so, learn how to use archives, try not to be intimidated by them.’

Don’t forget the official launch event for the book is on Friday 8 January 2016 at Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB, 6.30-9pm.

All welcome, no booking required, please just turn up. 

We will announce more events in the new year.

And of course, it’s not too late to pre-order Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement as a Xmas present. You get a nice voucher to print off and give to a loved one, or even a troublesome family member, and a free badge!

All the best for the holidays from HammerOn Press, and thank you for your support in 2015!