I'm delighted to be working with The Real Press today on Random Things, and am offering a set of three signed non-fiction books.
The books are biographies and all link in with the promotion of the new book from The Real Press; Ronald Laing: The Rise and Fall and Rise of the Revolutionary Psychiatrist.
The publication of this book coincides with the release of a film of a snapshot of Laing's life at the height of his fame and controversy, Mad to be Normal, which is released in the UK on 6th April and stars David Tennant. The book covers Laing's life and brings to life the 1960s and 70s when he had reached a level of notoriety.
Entry is simple. Just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post to be in with a chance to win SIGNED copies of the following books. UK ENTRIES ONLY PLEASE
Ronald Laing: The Rise and Fall and Rise of the Radical Psychiatrist - The radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing took the world by storm in the 1960s and 1970s with his ideas about madness, families and people’s need for authenticity. At the height of his fame this fascinating man could fill stadiums like Bob Dylan, and often did so. Then he fell from grace, flung out of the medical profession. Yet, despite this, his influence is still everywhere - but largely unnoticed and unremarked. This book tells the remarkable human story of his life and his struggles, first with the authorities as a psychiatrist in the army and then a series of mental hospitals, and sets it in the vivid context of the psychedelic 1960s and 70s. It looks at what we can still learn from Laing today - he still has an unexpectedly potent message.
The Secret History of the Jungle Book - The Jungle Book has captured the imaginations of successive generations by bringing the Indian jungles alive. But there is a mystery at the heart of the book. There is a tale hidden in the very conception of the book and its characters, for Kipling was intricately enriching his Mowgli stories with the symbolism of Indian mythology. How did an Englishman, dismissed as an imperialist, who wrote the books in Vermont, and is credited with believing that “East is East and West is West/And never the twain shall meet”, manage to conjure such authenticity from a mixture of Indian folk tales and dialect words, and weave them into such a magical and compelling mixture? It isn’t just that Kipling spent so long in India or that he felt so at home there. This book tells the real story behind Mowgli, Shere Khan and Baloo and the Jungle itself. Anyone who loved the characters and adored the Jungle Books as children needs to read Swati Singh’s journey into the soul of Kipling, and his own journey into the soul of India. Do that, and you will open up the real meaning of the Jungle Book.
Scandal: How Homosexuality Became a Crime - The strange story of how homosexuality came to be criminalised in 1885, a story that takes us from the notorious Dublin Scandal to the unique moment of fear - now largely forgotten - after Oscar Wilde's arrest. The events involved the author's ancestor, who he traces from prominence in Dublin to an escape in disguise to a secret life in Camberwell in London in the 1890s. But even in London, he wasn’t safe, escaping a second time ten years later in a moment of fear that was unprecedented in modern British history that swept through the gay community. This book explains how the events of those years led to the persecution of tens of thousands over the next eight decades. It looks at the strange story behind that decision, and the furore that tore apart Irish society in 1884, and how the roots of the whole business lie in the furious world of Irish politics after the Phoenix Park murders. This is a ground-breaking book, part history part detective story, that looks back at the moment society turned on homosexuality with such venom, and why it happened.
Three Signed Books from The Real Press
The Real Press We publish short books, ebooks and print on demand books that fit with our values and philosophy, and which seem likely to encourage debate about what really matters. These are available on Amazon and elsewhere, but also here in the shop.