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2009 List


Picnic's 2009 list is well underway. Non fiction will be led by Brian Landers' Empires Apart which traces the remarkable parallels in American and Russian histories up to the Cold War and beyond. Brian - the Finance Director of one of the major publishers and an expert in business, public policy issues and international affairs - contends the American road to Baghdad started when the first English settlers landed in Virgina determined to impose their values on everyone they encountered. Simultaneously, the first Russians crossed the Urals and the two empires that would dominate the twentieth century were born . . .

Later in the year we will have Nanny Brown's Scrapbook, 1880 -1960. Compiled by English children's nurse Grace Brown, the Scrapbook covers the start of her working life in 1880s Bradford and takes us all the way through to the 1960s via the grief of the Holocaust and London Blitz.



New fiction is also exciting. Here, a digression. Two of Picnic's 2008 novels (Black President; Jasmine's Tortoise)are modern historicals, the former set in America; the latter in Baghdad and London. We are therefore delighted to have signed Leicester surgeon and GP Dr Andrew Sharp's The Ghosts of Eden which carries on our 'modern' sequence. The Ghosts of Eden is based in London and East Africa from the 1950s to the 1980s. It is a brilliant epic about love, medicine and cultural uncertainties, has a huge African and European cast and concludes on the shores of the Indian ocean.

Picnic's historical fiction kicks off with Caroline Rance's superb debut novel Kill-Grief. Set in Chester in the mid-1700s, it was inspired by Caroline's research into eighteenth century medicine while reading English and History at Keele university. Full of the clap, pox, alcohol and amputations!

We will also be bringing you Ben Beazley's Crooked Mile. This is a wonderful late 1800's murder mystery based on the activities of the Irish Fenian Brotherhood. Ben, an historian and ex-copper to boot, takes the reader on a thrilling journey of suspense from middle England to Eastern Europe to America, and finally to the slums of Whitechapel and Jack the Ripper.

Completing Picnic's historical trio is Nick Blackstock's Something Hidden. Nick's starting point is a (factual) train derailment in Gloucestershire in 1928 when there was considerable loss of life. What made the tragedy even more memorable was the fact that the remains of two well dressed young children, a boy and girl, were found in the wreckage. Despite massive local and national publicity no one came forward to claim them . . . Nick's brilliant novel seeks to identify them and unravels an evil conspiracy which does its worst during the war time Blitz.

Children's books will include The Ghostly Garlic and Silly Salami beautifully illustrated by Caroline Bailey, and Tiger Trap! an adventure story for young boys set in the environs of Dover Castle written and illustrated by James Crabb.

Other titles will be announced shortly.

Empires Apart
America and Russia from the Vikings to Iraq

author Brian Landers
ISBN No. 9780955610554

Nanny Brown's Scrapbook
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Nanny Brown's Scrapbook
A life in words and pictures of an english children's nanny,
1880 - 1960


War, bombs, Holocaust, patriotism, good manners, faith, other people's children, knitting & flowers: the story of Grace Brown™.

editor Corinne Souza
photographer Jacqueline Norman
ISBN No. 9780955610554
price £ 17.99
genre Victorian, Edwardian, pre-post Second World War Britain, Holocaust, America, history, social history, domestic service, working women, knitting, childhood. Also giftbook

The Ghosts of Eden
by Andrew Sharp

author Andrew Sharp
ISBN No. 9780955861338

Crooked Mile
by Ben Beazley

author Ben Beazley
ISBN No. 9780955861352

Ghostly Garlic
written by Henri Renard, illustrated by Caroline Bailey

author Henri Renard
illustrator Caroline Bailey
ISBN No. 9780955610578
price £ 6.99
genre children's illustrated (water-colour)

by Caroline Rance

author Caroline Rance
ISBN No. 9780955861345

Something Hidden
by Nick Blackstock

author Nick Blackstock
ISBN No. coming soon

Tiger Trap
written and illustrated by James Crabb

author James Crabb
illustrator James Crabb
ISBN No. coming soon
price coming soon
genre children's illustrated