Horror up North, horror out East

Posted in brought, caught by juliobesq on March 4, 2011


An unholy trinity has made it’s presence known. Horror is a much maligned genre, our favourite monsters given an unwelcome birth, only with time are they granted literary pedigree. Tom Fletcher’s chapbook “The Safe Children” is one of the most unsettling stories I have read for quite a while, without recourse to the supernatural – true modern horror. So I read with some excitement, or should that be dread, that Nightjar Press are publishing his second title “Field”. His stories to date have been set up North, “Children” in Whitehaven and his debut novel “The Leaping” in Manchester.

Which by coincidence is home to Joy Division, whose “She’s Lost ControlSpoek Mathambo has covered in a “darkwave township” style. Apparently. Of particular interest it also marks the directorial debut of photographer Pieter Hugo, his series “Nollywood” exploring the themes found in Nigerian horror films. Here he turns eye and hand to produce a monochrome vision, translating the fear of epilepsy to a voodoo St Vitus dance.

All these gothic undoings are not only restricted to the North, just opened in East London’s Shoreditch is the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies selling everything a monster might need.

Tinned fear fom The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

The shop is really the front for The Ministry of Stories. The UK version of 826 National, the voluntary organisation started by Dave Eggers to help children with writing skills.

It’s open to non-monster humans, or the public as they call them, and sells a full range of canned fear. Which might also contain humbugs and a specially commissioned story from authors including founder Nick Hornby, graded by fear level culminating in Zadie Smith’s strictly for adults tale, enclosed in a tin of Mortal Terror.

Other delights include Thickest Human Snot, Old Fashioned Brain Jam and Organ Marmalade, all proceeds go to supporting the centre.

Horrible stuff indeed.

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