Music for the Off-Key: Twelve Macabre Short Stories

Highly acclaimed and versatile writer, Courttia Newland will be launching his latest volume of short stories, Music for the Off-Key: Twelve Macabre Short Stories, in London on July 31.

The stories will appeal to those who like their fiction surreal.

Niall Griffiths, author of Wreckage, describes the volume as “dark, compelling, twisted and grim in all the best ways possible.”

He says the stories have “the texture of urban folktale, the monsters they feature crawl from sexual obsession, prejudice, and other forms of hate” and that this is part of what makes them powerful, intense and engaging.

The stories draw inspiration from a diverse variety of sources that range from the Hammer House of Horror to Roald Dahl, to everyday life in West London.

In Music for the Off-Key, Newland moulds the literary and the popular, and in the process reinvigorates the classic, short story form. There is a delight in the dark, the grotesque and the uncanny as Newland sidesteps the expectations of mainstream publishers and booksellers by exciting his fans and introducing new readers to his latest book of offbeat stories.

The collection of short stories introduces new tales in a style of Black British writing that takes readers from the West Side Stories as featured in Newland’s debut novel, The Scholar.

Music for the Off-Key: Twelve Macabre Short Stories is published by Peepal Tree Press, the leading independent publisher of Caribbean and Black British fiction and poetry.

Other books by Courttia Newland include The Scholar: A West Side Story (Abacus, 1997); Society Within (Abacus, 1999); IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain, (co-editor with Kadija Sesay) (Hamish Hamilton, 2000); Snakeskin (Abacus, 2002) and The Dying Wish (Abacus, 2006).

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