The Blackbird

By Claire Allen

A novel about the Liverpool Blitz and how it resonates for an elderly woman, caring for her husband.

Fiction
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Publication date: 30 June 2020

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Keystone

A handmade, signed limited edition hardback book. Beautifully litho printed in black and yellow. Half-bound in Tex-Libris and Cement paper. Cover foil debossed. Interleaved with fold-out reproductions of drawings by David Henningham

PLUS:

  • Signed hardback
  • Includes postage & packing in the UK
$225  + shipping

Capstone

A handmade, signed limited edition hardback book. Beautifully litho printed in black and yellow. Half-bound in Tex-Libris and Cement paper. Cover foil debossed. Interleaved with fold-out reproductions of drawings by David Henningham, plus an original drawing from the book by David Henningham.

PLUS:

  • Signed Hardback
  • Original Drawing by David Henningham
  • Only 4 available
  • Includes postage & packing in the UK

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my book?

The paperback edition is published on 30th June 2020 and will be posted out for this date. The handmade hardback editions will be posted out after 30th November 2020.

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PRE-ORDER BEFORE 15 JUNE 2020 TO GET YOUR NAME IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK

It is 1941. Hope's father, Jenner, builds Liverpool Cathedral while the Luftwaffe's bombs fall. It is 2014, and Hope cares for her husband Robert as Alzheimer's destroys his personality.

Hope's husband Robert is a retired civic sculptor. As Alzheimer's unravels his mind, a secret he has kept for her threatens to emerge, breaking the fragile peace she has made with her parents’ memory: the truth of what happened to her mother during the Liverpool Blitz. 

Hope brings in Louise to be home-carer. A young mother, the last resident of the Blackbird Estate, harassed by her ex-partner. But now they are together, can they find a way the past can't hurt them? 

Allen tells the overlooked story of the Liverpool Blitz, but resists its glorification with the sights, sounds and smells that surround the desperate citizens.

HFP have teamed up with G.F Smith, paper merchant to Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press, to celebrate small presses. All editions of the book will be covered with Gmund Urban, which uses "genuine pulverized cement" to recreate concrete's subtle texture and sparkle. The Römerturm paper mill has created "tradition and dynamic modernism in one material." Especially apt for a book that is set in a post-war housing estate: The Blackbird. It is a sculptural material, perfect for HFP's hand-bindery.

About the Publisher

Henningham Family Press is a small publisher with enormous reach.

Buy this book and you will also receive a window into our East London studio. The making and launching of the paperback will take place in the spring. Then, in the autumn, the same printed pages will be taken and turned into an artists' book. The whole process will unfold with our subscribers.

We publish literary fiction and poetry in high-quality trade paperbacks and deluxe limited editions. We place exactly the same printed pages in high-street bookshops and prestigious book collections, such as National Galleries Scotland, V&A, Stanford University and Tate.

We bring our books to life with live audiences. We expand our authors’ manuscripts into three dimensions, creating some of the most stunning and inventive literature around.

Since 2006.

'Groundbreaking' – Edinburgh International Book Festival

'Satisfying the biggest appetites' – The Independent


Half-bound 60 Lovers To Make And Do, Sophie Herxheimer, 2019.

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$75  + shipping
9 orders

Keystone

A handmade, signed limited edition hardback book. Beautifully litho printed in black and yellow. Half-bound in Tex-Libris and Cement paper. Cover foil debossed. Interleaved with fold-out reproductions of drawings by David Henningham

PLUS:

  • Signed hardback
  • Includes postage & packing in the UK