In my spare time I’m the sidekick to a literary vigilante. Or at least, my alterego is.
Together with the illustrator Beth Barnett, I’m currently working on a graphic novel, Samizdat. The title is borrowed from Russian and refers to the means of circulating underground literature during the USSR, from political pamphlets to blacklisted novels such as Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago and, famously, Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.
We’re interested in bringing the debates and concepts surrounding samizdat into a (slightly more than) modern setting. Drawing on the developments which have occured in the literary sector over the past few years – from the dominance of Amazon to apps censoring “naughty language” in ebooks –Samizdat is a fast-paced corporate thriller which intertwines the playful and the political.