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The Night Alphabet (Hardback)Joelle Taylor (author)
From a dystopian cityscape to nineteenth-century Lancashire, Taylor's audacious novel set in a futuristic Hackney recounts the stories behind a woman's copious tattoos.
The tattoo was a reclamation, a flag we mounted in the centre of our own landscape.
A woman walks into a tattoo parlour. But this is no ordinary woman, and this is Hackney in 2233. Jones' body is covered in tattoos but she wants to add one final inking to her gallery - a thin line of ink mixed with blood that connects her body art together, creating a unique map.
As the two artists set to work, Jones tells them the story behind each tattoo. As Jones is no ordinary woman, these are no ordinary stories: each one represents a doorway to a life Jones fell into, a 'remembering'. Some of these lives were in the past, others in the future, some are sideways, but each of them connects Jones to the two tattoo artists in some way, though they are unaware of it.
We visit the dystopian cities of the Quiet Men, the coal mines of 19th century Lancashire, join a gang of vigilante sex workers, enter the world of an incel murderer, haunt the old Maryville gay bar, and uncover plans to genetically modify female children. Each of the stories brings us closer to Jones' truth, and how her life is intricately interwoven with that of the women tattooing her body.
Set across geographies and timespans, The Night Alphabet is a dazzlingly bold and original work, a deep investigation into human nature and violence against women.
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Number of pages: 432
Dimensions: 240 x 156 mm
'Joelle Taylor has a Midas touch with words' - Diana Souhami
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