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(Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! )

Winter closure dates

Over the holidays we will be closed from December 20th right up until the 7th of January. During this time, I intend to subsist solely on mince pies and mulled wine and can’t wait to roll back into the office in the new year.

Any Christmas orders need to be placed on Wednesday December 19th for our final Christmas send out the following day. Any orders placed after this date will be sent out on January 7th. If you’re still thinking of buying yourself or someone else a subscription, here’s a gift code for £5 off – because, why not, it’s Christmas! Enter join-the-adventure at the checkout.

A different kind of newsletter…

Now, onto the fun bit! Frankly with all the packaging and posting I’ve been doing this week I didn’t have it in me to write an entire newsletter. So I thought I would ask the rest of the Peirene team to write it for me. I asked everyone from our shiny new(ish) Intern Stella, to our intrepid Publisher Meike what their Peirene highlight was this year and – more importantly – what they were looking forward to over the holidays. So read on for some sentimental reflection and a whole lot of Christmas cheer!

First up, of course, is Meike!

‘My Peirene highlight of the year is moving to Beirut. The Nymph and I feel that we have an amazing team in place in London. And so, she and I have now moved to Beirut for a year where we are working with The Shatila Women’s Studio which is incredibly rewarding. 

My Christmas tradition is my mother-in-law’s mince pies with homemade brandy butter.

Can’t wait for them.

Next comes Jen, our absolute whiz of a Bookseller

2018 has been such an incredible year for Peirene and I feel so honoured to have been a part of it. There is so much to celebrate but I think a particular highlight for me was the discovery of Shadows on the Tundra. I thanked (and hugged!) Meike for finding it and bringing it to English readers for the first time. I have been selling it at the Roaming Store for four months and I still get goose bumps when I tell people the story of how it was written, found and translated. It’s why a press like Peirene is so vital to our cultural, spiritual and intellectual lives and why I feel so proud to stand next to our books and all they represent.

The holiday time for me is all about reading – I stockpile candles, herbal tea and heaps of books I have accumulated over the year. I do try to cure myself of Tsundoko – but it never seems to work – they call it an art after all…

Now Sacha, our fantastic Designer

Sacha Davison Lunt

I’ve been excited about the path the design went down in 2018. The freedom I have been given to continually refresh the books design has maintained my passion and enthusiasm for designing each years new titles. 2019 titles are looking good too!

And, as always, Meike’s passion and meticulos-ity is a joy to be around and work with. Everyone who comes into the Peirene fold, whether that be for a brief sojourn or in for the long haul, always brings something rich and valuable and makes working with Peirene a lot more than just work!

Next is Stella, the wondrous Peirene Intern

My Peirene highlight is getting to read Children of the Cave before it was published! The moment that stands out the most though is probably the last send out – we had to re-label all the parcels with a new date after the original collection never arrived. There’s nothing like re-sticking hundreds of labels to make you appreciate all the behind the scenes work of a small press!

Every year at Christmas my family picks a really extravagant dish from a cookbook – the kind of thing you would never cook in a million years – and makes it. Sometimes it takes all day! Last year we also started doing karaoke which we’ll be doing again this year.

Not forgetting Ben, our Digital and PR Guru

I always enjoy sending out the latest book. It’s wonderful to prepare the parcels and think about all the different readers they are going to find homes with.

At the end of a busy day, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that a job has been done, and that the books will soon be whisking off across the world to people who will love, cherish, and ponder over them.

And finally, if you’re still with us, my own highlight and tradition!

Picking a Peirene highlight is an almost impossible task (that I kindly asked everyone else to do…) so I’m going with the latest highlight. Just a few weeks ago we received the very first translation of Peirene No. 29 You Would Have Missed Me from the masterful Jamie Bulloch. Whilst waiting for the Royal Mail collection of Children of the Cave that never came, I decided I’d get ahead on reading it. I read a page, stopped and emailed Jamie to tell him I loved it instantly. I’m still reeling from the fact that I get to read these incredible books first. So, almost cruelly, I have to share the opening lines with you – even though there’s months to wait!

‘We have our best ideas between the ages of five and ten. Some people have only a few ideas after that, maybe until they’re twenty-five or thirty, depending on whether they’re still talking to anyone then, but after thirty most of them no longer want to talk to anyone, they’ve given up, so obviously that puts an end to any more ideas.

I had my best idea when I was seven, because at the time I urgently needed to talk to someone, and when it occurred to me how I might go about that, I sensed too that it was a really good idea, although I didn’t realise quite how good until much later.’

My Christmas tradition is singing carols on Bournville green on Christmas Eve. We’re always late. We can never find batteries for the torches so have to try sing along by memory. And, more often than not now, far from being a scenic winter wonderland covered in snow – everyone ends up knee deep in mud. But it really is just a little bit magic.

Now all that’s left to do is sign off for the year. Wishing you all a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. See you in 2019!





Peirene Press Ltd

17 Cheverton Road
London N19 3BB
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 6861941

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