Some of the most cherished books in the Headlong office were set in London: The End of the Affair, High Fidelity, The Autograph Man, just to name a few of the most obvious ones. So it was with delight that we packed up, headed out and explored the streets of London, taking in its rich literary history and novels from independent publishers in London.
We hit up the requisite tour palaces, curry stands and, of course, book stores in the iconic town. While we were there, it got us thinking about some of our favorite independent publishers from the United Kingdom. So while we were out, we chalked up a quick list of some of the best novels from independent publishers in London.
CB Editions represents pretty much everything we like about independent publishing: It was founded because writer Charles Boyle knew the mainstream press wasn’t ready for his debut novel, 24 for 3, and took the job onto himself in a DIY approach that connects with our punk roots. Along the way, his independent publishing house chalked up an impressive catalog of high-caliber novels – all marked by the press’ consistent visual aesthetic on its covers.
Founded last year, Ampersand Publishing is dedicated to the sort of novels from independent publishers that we love: strange, innovative and completely removed from commercial considerations. That doesn’t mean its work is crap, though: Its first two novels jump headlong into the kind of themes we love: a dystopian parallel world (Tumours) and a look at corruption and evil (The Goldberg Variations). Along with books on politics, art and other topics, it’s off to an auspicious start.
Dropping both spoken-word recordings and a variety of novels on the world, Test Centre aims to challenge readers and listeners. Although novels isn’t Test Centre’s bread and butter (it focuses solidly on poetry), it doesn’t shy away from challenging works. Plus, they issue records, which is always a plus in our book.
Novels from Independent Publishers and More
While wandering London and considering some of our favorite novels from independent publishers, we also had a great time checking out the sites, big and small with help from Journyd, which matched us up with a slew of bookstores, record stores, grubby underground music venues and historical sites. A major help in getting off London’s beaten track, Journyd’s advice and help was invaluable.