Galley Beggar is to publish an essay collection from Lucy Ellman, Things Are Against Us.
The essays explore a variety of topics and key figures including feminism, environmental catastrophe, labour strikes, sex strikes, Little House On The Prairie, Donald Trump, Alfred Hitchcock and Virginia Woolf. The publisher acquired the rights from the author's agent, David Godwin.
The press also published Ellmann’s 1,000-page novel Ducks, Newburyport, which is written almost entirely in one long sentence, and scooped the 2019 £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize, and the 2020 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Booker, Saltire and Orwell Prizes.
Co-director Eloise Millar said: “Working with Lucy on Ducks, Newburyport was one of the greatest adventures of my life, let alone career—so as you might imagine, I was delighted when Lucy first spoke to us about the possibility of a book of essays… and even more delighted when I read them. Just like Ducks, Newburyport, Lucy’s essays and articles combine comedy with fury, and to startling effect. You’re roaring with laughter one second, you’re shaking with rage (at the state of our world and just what has been done to it) the next. Sometimes you’re doing both at the same time. Lucy is also one of the world’s great mischief makers. She loves setting the cat among the pigeons. She is a master of épater la bourgeoisie. But this mischief is never without foundation. She is an author who really, really cares.”
Co-director Sam Jordison added: “I can’t wait to unleash this collection. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Lucy Ellmann—which is to say, entirely unexpected. It’s so exciting to read these essays because you just don’t know what she’s going to say next—although you do know it’s going to be something exceptional. They’re bursting with such energy that reading them feels like sticking your hand in the mains socket. And they do all the other things a good collection of essays should too. They’re provocative, they’re smart, they’re thoughtful, they’re angry when they need to be, but they’re also warm and compassionate. Not to mention hilarious. I’ve been laughing so much when I’ve been reading them that my co-director has called out from the next room to ask me what on earth is wrong. They’re wonderful, in short.”
Ellmann said: “People claim satire is dead but I can't live without it. You might say it's what distinguishes us from animals, but then there's the bioluminescent platypus. It is such a delight to work with Galley Beggar Press again. As editors Elly and Sam are unique: deeply serious, deeply fun, whiplash smart, determined, patient, precise, sensitive... and gentle! A real rarity these days.”
Things Are Against Us will be published in July 2021. Rights queries should be directed, in the first instance, to Eloise Millar at Galley Beggar Press.