Woman reads Comma’s The Book of Rio. cover image taken at London Radical Book Fair © Asya Gefter, 2015

Last week we had a stall at Alternative Press & London Radical Book Fair. Initiated in 2011, the events hosts 130 exhibitors and 20 guest speakers, over five floors of a renovated warehouse near Tower Bridge. Its aim is to showcase the depth and breadth of radical publishing across the UK, bringing together publishers and their reading audience under one roof. It’s also a great opportunity to do a blog post of the radical books we had on display. In the name of radical publishing worldwide, take a look, don’t avert your eyes, these books need to be seen! 

The Drone Eats With Me 

drone conceptv3By Atef Abu Saif //  Foreword by Noam Chomsky

Published: May 2015

One of the few voices to make it out of Gaza after the ‘Operation Protective Edge’ siege of July & August 2014, was that of Atef Abu Saif, a writer and teacher from Jabalia Refugee Camp, whose eye-witness accounts (published in The Guardian, The New York Times, and elsewhere) offered a rare window into the conflict for Western readers. Here, Atef’s complete diaries of the war allow us to witness the full extent of last summer’s atrocities from the most humble of perspectives: that of a young father, fearing for his family’s safety, trying to stay sane in an insanely one-sided war.

Jebel Marra 


Published: April 2015

Here, Michelle Green – a former aid worker in Darfur – re-tells the story of the war in Sudan from 15 different perspectives, capturing by turns the brutal indifference of the government war machine, the terrible scars inflicted on individuals caught in its path, and the complex melting pot of experiences that constitutes any relief effort. Though fictional, these stories reach beyond the myths so often used to simplify this crisis and offer moving, first-hand insights into a tragedy that – like so many others – disappeared from our headlines all too quickly.

The Book of Rio

229865_Book-Of-Rio_COVER-(2)-copyEdited by: Toni Marques & Katie Slade

Featuring Nei Lopes, João Gilberto Noll, Domingos Pellegrini, João Ximenes Braga, Marcelo Moutinho, Sergio Sant’Anna, Patrícia Melo, Luiz Ruffato, Elvira Vigna & Cesar Cardaso

Published: June 2014

This anthology brings together ten short stories that go beyond the postcards and snapshots, and introduce us to real residents of Rio – the cariocas: These are characters who’ve developed a deep understanding of Rio’s contradictions, a way of living with the grey areas – between the grime and the glitz – that make Rio the ‘marvellous city’ it is.

The Book of Gaza

Gaza-cover-single-page(2)Edited by: Atef Abu Saif

Featuring Atef Abu Saif, Abdallah Tayeh, Talal Abu Shawish, Mona Abu Sharekh, Najlaa Ataallah, Ghareeb Asqalani, Nayrouz Qarmout, Yusra al Khatib, Asmaa al Ghul & Zaki al ‘Ela

Published: June 2014

This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story, spanning decades of literature. In these 10 stories, readers catch a glimpse of the strip that lies beyond the media headlines.

The Iraqi Christ

Iraqi ChristBy Hassan Blasim // Translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright

Published: April 2013

From legends of the desert to horrors of the forest, Blasim’s stories blend the fantastic with the everyday, the surreal with the all-too-real. Taking his cues from Kafka, his prose shines a dazzling light into the dark absurdities of Iraq’s recent past and the torments of its countless refugees.

Cold Sea Stories

Cold Sea StoriesBy Pawel Huelle // Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd Jones

Published: September 2012

Against the backdrop of the Baltic coast, mythology and meteorology mix with the inexorable tide of political change: Kashubian folklore, Chinese mysticism and mediaeval scholarship butt up against the war in Chechnya, 9-11, and the struggle for Polish independence. The characters in Pawel Huelle’s mesmerising stories find themselves, willingly or not, at the heart of epic narratives; legends and histories that stretch far beyond the limits of their own lives.

Shi-Cheng: Short Stories from Urban China

9781905583461Edited by:  Ra Page, Carol Yinghua & Liu Ding

Featuring Diao Dou, Jie Chen, Han Dong, Cau Kou, Ding Liying,Ho Sin Tung, Zhu Wen, Yi Sha, Zhang Zhihou & Xu Zechen

Published: April 2012

To the West, China may appear an unstoppable economic unity, a single high-performing whole, but for the inhabitants of this vast, complex and contradictory nation, it is the cities that hold the secret to such economic success. The stories in this anthology offer snapshots of ten such cities, introducing challenges that are uniquely Chinese, but infused with an energy and ingenuity that is something readers everywhere can marvel at.

The War Tour

The War Tour coverBy Zoe Lambert

Published: December 2010

From Kandahar to Sarajevo, the forests of Lithuania to the boot camps of the DRC, Zoe Lambert’s stories weave a dark and disturbing web, interlacing documentary accounts with imagined testimonies to give voice to the many silenced casualties of war.

ReBerth: Stories from Cities on the Edge

reberthEdited by Jim Hinks, Franco Bianchini & Jude Bloomfield

Featuring Christian Garcin, Murathan Mungan, Jean-Claude Izzo,Artur Becker, Hatice Meryem, Alexei Sayle, Dinesh Allirajah, Adam Kaminski, Peppe Lanzetta, Valeria Parrella & Claudia Parman

Published: December 2008

The six European port cities known as the ‘Cities on the Edge’ – Liverpool, Bremen, Gdansk, Istanbul, Marseilles and Naples – share a history of dissent, diversity and economic reinvention. Featuring short stories by twelve acclaimed writers, ReBerth explores these landscapes of change and social tensions.

Elsewhere: Stories from Small Town Europe

1905583133Edited by Maria Crossan

Featuring: Mirja Unge, Olga Tokarczuk, Gyrðir Elíasson, Roman Simic, Ingo Schulze, Michael O’Conghaile, Mehmet Zaman Saçlioglu, Frode Grytten, Jean Sprackland & Danielle Picard

Published: October 2007

On a broad European canvas,  the rich traditions of short story writing challenge the preconceptions that ‘small town’ means: closed-minded; petty; provincial; parochial. The stories collected here are neither narrow-minded nor petty, nor do the minds of their protagonists contract to fit their environment.


3 thoughts on “Around the World in 10 Radical Comma Books

  1. I am interested to read the above books.abd would also like to translate stories to Bangla. I am a translator from Kolkata.India.pl let me know where I can get these books.

    • Hello Soma. If you click on the image of each book cover it will direct you to the website where you can buy the books. You should definitely translate a story in Bangla!

    • Hello Soma. If you click on the image of each book cover it will direct you to the website where you can buy the books. You should definitely translate a story in Bangla!

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