Intervals opens with a gift, a wish, a promise. Beginning where I least expected to begin, writing drew me back to a council flat in the early nineties and to my mum’s easy initiation into my rag-tag circle of imaginary friends. From there, we carved out a shared space: an anything-goes, us-against-the-world, never-say-never island of mutual belief. Over the years, that imaginative space expanded, just as our material world contracted. Play revealed itself as a kind of power, not so much a retreat as a refusal. But it could only get us so far.
My mum was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2009, and died from stopping eating and drinking in 2019. Intervals is an attempt at reckoning with personal, ethical and political questions of choice: what does it mean to defend one’s autonomy in a world choked by austerity, or to speak of dignity without denying the realities of dependency and doubt? The questions are not individualizing – did she jump or was she pushed? – but collective: was there even ground beneath her feet? What kind of world have we built for one another?
So much of this narrative is particular – her habits, gestures and eccentricities; the varied particulars of love and living together. But these personal aspects emerge from overlapping and common (sometimes contradictory) conditions. I wanted to write a book that captured it all: the singular and the common; the middle space between the two.
The notion of the interval arrived early, and has been a generative space to write from. Intervals are temporary places of rupture and of rest; they are liminal, partial and in-between. Writing at intervals, outside of the day to day run of expectation and obligation, I make a deal with you, the reader. I invite you to bear loose witness – to sit with me, as close to the pain as I can get – on the condition that the story doesn’t end here, that there is yet a world to win.
Marianne Brooker, 2024
Fitzcarraldo Editions is seeking a Publishing Assistant to support our growing team in Deptford, south-east London, and ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the publishing house.
The Publishing Assistant’s responsibilities will include providing general administrative support to the Publisher and the rest of the team; managing the info@fitzcarraldoeditions email address; submissions to literary prizes; sending author mailings and finished copies; occasional proofreading and copy-checking; supporting editorial, publicity, marketing, sales, rights and production when required; assisting with author care; assisting in the management of ecommerce and subscriptions.
The position will suit someone able to work as part of a small team but also willing to use their initiative, with good communication and organization skills, an ability to work well under pressure, and excellent attention to detail. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the Fitzcarraldo Editions catalogue, and contemporary literature in general. Experience in publishing is a plus, but not essential.
This is a full-time position paid at £26,000 per annum with a three-month probationary period, starting as soon as possible. This role requires minimum three days a week in the office in Deptford, and will require some attendance at evening events throughout the year. Benefits include:
– 28 days paid holiday (including bank holidays), on top of Christmas office closure;
– pension scheme;
– summer working hours.
Please send a CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 March.