Teffi, Piper, et alia: Spring 2016 catalogue

We’ve just published our ‘Spring 2016’ list on our website – please have a look at our ‘Browse catalogues’ page: http://johnsandoe.samsara.us.positive-dedicated.net/…/John-Sandoe-Books-Spring-2016-List.…
As always, it has been hard to keep it short – the length is not unreasonably determined by what can fit into an A5 envelope and still count as letter post.

The list covers books that will be published over the next three months – in this case April to late June. The list is strong, once again, with a good range, especially in the arts, fiction and biography. The heftiest, both in scope and price (a cool £1000) is the Francis Bacon catalogue raisonné in 5 volumes, with about 800 illustrations. Also very fine but perhaps rather kinder to the pocket will be David Fraser Jenkins’s survey ‘The Art of John Piper’, which includes his stage designs for several of Britten’s operas,Art of John Piper Edward Bawden’s Scrapbooks, the catalogue for the Georges de la Tour exhibition at the Prado in Madrid (for which they have painted the exhibition space a matt-black, allowing the astonishing light depicted in the paintings to glow even more incandescently), ‘Mapplethorpe Flora: The Complete Flowers’ and two good books on Imperial Russian painting by Rosamund Blakesley.

For fiction we look forward to several in particular – we have hopes for the new Annie Proulx (‘Barkskins’), A L Kennedy’s ‘Serous Sweet’, and for Philip Hensher’s collection of short stories ‘Tales of Persuasion’. The new Ismail Kadare, ‘A Girl in Exile’ is highly recommended, as is Charlotte Hobson’s ‘The Vanishing Futurist’. There are thrillers by Kerr, Furst, Cumming, Vichi, Leon and Chris Morgan Jones…

New poetry collections from Helen Mort, R S Thomas, Clive James, Christopher Reid AND from Sam Buchan-Watts, who many will remember worked at Sandoe’s until last September, when he moved to York to work on his doctorate.

And then there’s Teffi… an all but forgotten Russian author, brought to light and posthumous life Memories by Teffiby Pushkin Press in 2014 with a collection of short stories called ‘Subtly Worded’. That was wonderful – elegiac, funny, off-beat – so we are very much looking forward to getting hold of two more (also Pushkin Press): ‘Memories – From Moscow to the Black Sea’ (her journey to Odessa in 1918, alongside thousands of refugees, from where she journeyed on to Paris, unwittingly leaving Russia for ever) and a collection of non-fiction pieces called ‘Rasputin and Other Ironies’.

And last but so very much not least, and not in the list (it can be impractical to have very limited editions in our catalogues) are a couple of gorgeous recent Fleece Press titles, including ‘Richard Bawden: His Life & Work’, by Malcolm Yorke – just about the best thing you could ever buy for £224. (Richard is Edward Bawden’s son, a denizon of Great Bardfield, and a maker of watercolours, etchings, linocuts, cast iron, murals, glass engraving, mosaics and book illustrations).

Richard Bawden
Fleece Press make extremely beautiful books – from cover design, the use of decorative papers, careful binding, the texture of the paper, to the quality of the illustrations and subject. I’m still longing for last year’s ‘Pen, paper & a box of paints: Albert Rutherston’s work in theatre design and book illustration’, by Ian Rogerson, having grown up with an an elderly and adored copy of Mme Maurice Maeterlinck’s ‘The Children’s Bluebird’, which he illustrated very early in his career, before anglicising his name.

And now it’s time to go home.