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In South Korea, you can go to "prison" to relax. Sounds strange? Well, it is. You can get locked up in solitary confinement in a wellness centre designed like a prison. You lock out responsibilities, work, stress and emails and focus on your inner self. At least that's the concept. "The true prison is the world outside," says the founder of the jail-themed retreat.⁠ ⁠ For this weirdly fantastic book we want to present here, artist Tyler Coburn commissioned ten creatives to spend time in five square metres of solitude in this wellness centre - and write. They handed in their phones, exchanged their clothes for a uniform, took their rice porridge meals through a door slot and slept on the floor. ⁠ ⁠ During their time in this mock prison, they were guided in their writing by certain questions: How can the relaxation promised by Happitory be reconciled with the way solitary confinement works in real prisons? What kinds of thinking and writing are made possible by the restrictions - no books, no internet, only writing materials? How might the writing here relate to other texts produced in prison, such as those by Oscar Wilde, Antonio Gramsci, Kim Dae-jung, Shin Young-bok?⁠ ⁠ In its entirety, 'Solitary' is unique in that it is both a collection of texts and a collective artwork: an experiment in site-specific writing.⁠ Buy...

Replacement, one could say, is at odds with individualism. If something is irreplaceable, then theoretically it has more value than something that can be easily replaced. So who wants to be replaceable? Amber Husain does! Disillusioned by her first real job, the kind that brings you a pay check that sustains a life, she realises that a permanent job is not automatically a guarantee for permanent relevancy. On the contrary, it "felt causally connected to my growing doubt about the beauty and meaningfulness of life."⁠ ⁠ Fun enough humans continue to build machines that replaces human labour. Starting with the washing machine. But instead of leaning back and enjoying all that free time, we compete with robots and create useless jobs are suppose to make us feel important and needed. ⁠ ⁠ Replace Me is a celebration of the possibilities for political transformation inherent in the act of embracing one's own replaceability.⁠   Buy...

This book by Simone de Beauvoir was deemed too intimate to release during her lifetime and then has been lost. Luckily it was found and published now so that we can indulge in this tender and at the same time revolutionary story.⁠ ⁠ The Inseparables is based on Beauvoir's childhood friendship with Élisabeth Lacoin even though the two main characters carry other names- Sylvie and André. The two girls, that meet at school, share for that time revolutionary and feminist thoughts. “They teach you in catechism to respect your body. So selling your body in marriage must be as bad as selling it on the street,” Andrée says. Sylvie is bored and intellectually lonely, so meeting this clever, irreverent girl changes her life. Sylvie falls in love with André's mind. But there is much that society will throw at Andrée to intimidate and flatten her, not least religion and the desire not to disappoint her controlling, conservative mother.   Buy...

The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death.⁠ Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they are forced into quarantine. Each person responds in their own way to the lethal disease: some resign themselves to fate, some seek blame, and a few, like Dr Rieux, resist the terror.⁠ Sounds familiar? It is no surprise that The Plague by Albert Camus got a "second wave" in Covid-19 times. However the deadly plague in this story is an allegory of France’s suffering under the Nazi occupation. But with the uprising of fascist voices all over the world also this aspect of the novel from 1947 couldn't be more current. Unfortunately for this kind of plague we will be waiting long for a vaccine.⁠ Buy...

The Witch is dead. After a group of children playing near the irrigation canals discover her decomposing corpse, the village of La Matosa is rife with rumours about how and why this murder occurred. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, Fernanda Melchor paints a moving portrait of lives governed by poverty and violence, machismo and misogyny, superstition and prejudice. Written with an infernal lyricism that is as affecting as it is enthralling, Hurricane Season, Melchor’s first novel to appear in English, is a formidable portrait of Mexico and its demons, brilliantly translated by Sophie Hughes.⁠ Buy...