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Christien Gholson's Blog Entries

Claire Houguez and Rebecca Parfitt eds

Sick of sighing at the namby-pampy vampires and hipster witches in mainstream fiction? Of the supernatural stoically resisting its own evil?

Parthian and The Ghastling magazine decided to take matters into our own hands with a call to arms for some proper gothic fiction.


Fall into the dreamlike realities of absinthe and madness. Meet intoxicating women and mermaids that aren’t as charming as they seem...

Between these pages, blurring the lines of good and evil, the monstrous reality and the monstrous imagine, are gothic stories for modern times.

Here, buildings pursue their own malevolent intents; a grieving father and daughter receive an unexpected and grisly visitor; a man is unravelled by strange symbolism in a twilit park; and a botanist will stop at nothing to safeguard her borders.

Which one will leave you haunted?


Following a very successful launch and sell out at the Dylan in Fitzrovia Festival's Nora Summers exhibition last night, Parthian is offering copies of Dylan Thomas of the Bohemians: The Photographs of Nora Summers, a gorgeous hardback title which features a full biography of the woman behind some of the most famous images of Dylan Thomas, a collection of her images both iconic and rare, and an essay on Dylan and Bohemianism by Thomas expert Jeff Towns, for the reduced price of £20 (usually £25) including P&P (which, as always, is free!).

Click here to buy.

The Nora Summers exhibition runs until October 26th and is open from 11am-5pm. More information can be found here.

Susmita Bhattacharya

The law seems to be very interested in widows and lesbians. Both are hanging on to the edges of society, begging to be recognised...

It’s the end of a millennium. India has made tremendous progress in science and technology, but in these times of economic boom can a friendship between two women give them the power to defy society, and law, to reach for their dreams?

Dipali, a young bride, is determined to make her marriage a success story. But her plans are cut short when her husband is killed by a bomb blast in Mumbai. Forced into a life of widowhood, her brother expects her to sacrifice her own independence for the sake of caring for her elderly mother but Dipali has other ideas.

Moushumi, a school teacher, discovers that her attraction to women is not just a girl crush. As her parents discuss potential husbands, Moushumi escapes to her high-flying lover. But how long can she keep being a lesbian secret beyond the safe walls of glamorous art crowd parties?

The Slovak Embassy in London was the venue for the launch of Peter Kristufek's The House of the Deaf Man , an odyssey  through across Slovakia's twentieth-century history, seen through the eyes of an elderly doctor and his son. It has been translated by Peter Sherwood and Julia Sherwood. 

The launch presentation, hosted by the British Slovak Association, was chaired by Zuzana Slobodova and introduced by Ambassador Miroslav Wlachovsky. Welsh actor Fraser Cains read from the English translation of Kristufek's 2012 novel Dom hluchého to an enraptured audience.

Fear not! For those who missed out, you can now order The House of a Deaf Man from the Parthian store by clicking here. And remember, P&P is free.

At 6.30pm on Tuesday, October 21st, Gerald Summers, Leonie Summers and Jeff Towns, along with Parthian Books, will be launching Dylan Thomas and the Bohemians: The Photographs of Nora Summers, their biography of the woman behind some of the most famous images of Dylan Thomas and a talented artist in her own right, at 76 Charlotte Street as part of an exhibition on Summers’ work and the Dylan in Fitzrovia festival.
As well as a comprehensive biography of the painter and photographer, the book will contain images sourced from the bountiful archives of Nora’s grandson Gabriel Summers, Dylan expert Jeff Towns and the Rollie McKenna archives in Arizona, among others. Some are famous photographs, some have been rarely revealed to the public, and others have yet to be unveiled.
Also contained within the book will be an essay on Dylan Thomas and Bohemianism by Jeff Towns.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun…
Fancy reading something Slovakian this autumn? The nights may be drawing in but, before you decide which books to hibernate with, why not join us for a pop-up international literary festival in Cardiff this October and discover new playwrights, novelists, works in translation and more? Will you find your new favourite drama king or queen or meet new local and global talents?

Nigel Jarrett's debut poetry collection Miners at the Quarry Pool (2013) "should achieve similar levels of acclaim" to his "widely commended" short story collection Funderland (2011), writes Michael Nott in the autumn 2014 issue of New Welsh Review.

Nott finds much to like in the collection, noting that Jarrett's imbuing of his subject matter - which spans global conflict, memory, death, and the evocative tendencies of the photograph, among others - with "his wit and remarkably sustained musical ear", results in a "haunting", "technically interesting", "tautly constructed" and "provocative" selection of verse.

You can buy Miners at the Quarry Pool here.

Read the full review here

A listen again radio round up for you, as not 1, not 2 but 3 of our authors have taken to the airwaves recently...

Listen again to Tom Anderson on Good Morning Wales on BBC Radio Wales this morning, talking about his new novel The Actaeon Tide, the world of publishing, #SuperThursday, new under the sun, his launch event at new under the sun @Porter's, Cardiff on Thurs 16th October, and his event with John Harrison at Made in Roath festival next week (Forgotten Footprints and Actaeon Tides) ... From about 01:24:15 in.

Daniel Tyte ('He's very dapper!') went on BBC Radio Wales again on Tuesday to promote the new paperback version of Half Plus Seven ('Perfect for Christmas!') (You can listen in here from about 7min 50s in). Also see Dan at new under the sun @Porter's, Cardiff on Thurs 16th October and Rarebit & Cawl: Parthian New Voices (Literary readings) at Made in Roath on Sunday 19th October. 

Friday 10th October, Launch of Second-Hand Rain, SwanseaJoin us in celebrating the launch of Georgia Carys Williams' debut short fiction collection Second-Hand Rain. Dark, offbeat and haunting, from the bluest Venetian lagoon where a merwoman saves a drowning gondolier to a glass harmonica playing itself on a British tideline, this innovative and perceptive collection ripples with watery memories and poetic unease. Come and find out why Stevie Davies and Jon Gower have described these stories as ‘astonishingly imaginative’ and 'vigorously inventive'. 7pm, free entry and wine, at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.

You can make your own mind up on the debate posed by Michael Gove and Alistair Campbell respectively by picking up Ministering to Education from the Parthian webstore here, either by clicking the relevant image on the homepage carousel, or by clicking here. The book costs £10.99 and, as always, P&P is free when ordered directly from us.

Ministering to Education is the first book by a former Welsh Government Minister since the creation of the National Assembly in 1999. As Education Minister in the Welsh Government from 2009—2013, Andrews was twice named Welsh Politician of the Year. This is his enlightening, frank and readable account of the education reforms initiated in the early years of Carwyn Jones’s period as First Minister, and the complex challenges that still lie ahead to make the Welsh education system as good as any in the world.