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A fast-paced story about community, corruption and a family's fight for justice on the streets of East London.

A fast-paced story about community, corruption and a family's fight for justice on the streets of East London.

Set against the backdrop of artisanal coffee shops and pop-ups in gentrified Dalston, Pour on Water tells the story of a seemingly improved 'trouble spot' in EAST London. But with the long-standing class and racial tensions between the local black community and the police running through the very heart of the town, has anything really changed?

Dean Martin is the glue that holds his family together. He is the only link between his brother Errol, a habitual criminal serving a never-ending prison sentence under IPP for gun possession and drug dealing, and his sister Marlene an upwardly mobile events planner whose business is just taking off. Errol and Marlene despise each other and tension runs deep into the core of the household.

After her brother is shot, Marlene becomes a reluctant advocate for social justice in her community. However, the harder she fights and the deeper she goes, she soon learns how far the people in uniform, who are sworn to protect and serve will go to keep their dark secrets. And she realises that for some people in the community, police shootings are a business, not just tragic accidents.

Under mounting pressure from all sides and increasing unrest on the streets. Marlene must choose whether to continue fighting, not only justice for her family, but also for her community at the brink of a powerful uprising that no one would be able to ignore.

Pour on Water is about police brutality, respectability politics, race, and class issues played out on the gentrified streets of East London.

With generations of families in close-knit communities fading away into an unrecognisable area, when you take away everything that people hold dear, what is there left to lose? And when you are constantly losing, maybe the time has come to change the game.

Ava Vidal’s Pour on Water asks the question: are some victims really more worthy than others?

Ava Vidal is a British comedian, journalist and writer. She started stand up in 2003 and since then has taken part in television shows across the E4/Channel 4 and various shows across the BBC including Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, BBC Radio 4's News Quiz, BBC Two's Mock the Week and BBC Three's Free Speech.

Before her television career, Vidal worked as a prison officer in London.

She as also written for The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Independent, and has also commented on Newsnight, Channel 4 News and Sky News about issues such as policing, racism, prisons and women’s rights.

Pour on Water is Ava’s debut novel and she can be found tweeting at @thetwerkinggirl.

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.”

Maya Angelou


Errol had been up since five listening to the familiar sounds echoing around the prison. The old Irish guy next door that sobbed first thing, as if his dreams carried him to a far away happy place and was genuinely shocked to find himself imprisoned again every morning. ‘Goat,’ the Jamaican man in the cell on the other side that would sing as he shaved, his baritone echoing through the near-empty landings and almost filling them. It was the kind of rich sound you could easily imagine in the belly of a slave ship, with the one hopeful reminding the others that they were still alive and not to give up just yet. Being housed in between them gave Errol some strange sense of balance.

Birds would chirp outside the window with no consideration for those caged inside. Squirrels would scamper up trees reminding him that, until he had been transferred to the countryside during his first prison sentence, he had never known how they sounded. He could not have guessed they sounded like a baby’s squeaky toy accidentally trod on during the night on the way to the toilet.



Friday, 2 February 2018

There is nothing more nerve wracking than starting a project like this. There is the worry that no one will pledge at all and I would be the first Unbound author to raise 0% of pledges needed. Thanks to some very kind supportive people, that is not going to happen. But I still have a long way to go. 

A few people have asked me questions about how Unbound works. It is a very high quality publishing…

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