Gemma Fairclough in conversation with Rosie Garland: Bear Season at House of Books & Friends

Creative Tourist
The cover of Bear Season, on the left, which is pink and features an illustrated bear. On the right, is an image of author Gemma Fairclough, smiling and wearing glasses. Text is in between these two pictures, including the author name and title, as well as info on the event.
House of Books & Friends.

Gemma Fairclough in conversation with Rosie Garland: Bear Season at House of Books & Friends, Manchester 14 March 2024 Tickets from £5.00 — Book now

House of Books & Friends, “a bookshop with purpose”, is hosting an in-conversation with local author Gemma Fairclough, who’ll be chatting with writer and poet Rosie Garland about her debut novel, Bear Season. 

Gemma Fairclough’s writing is informed by a cross range of unsettling influences, including horror films, surrealist art and folklore, while centring on themes of alienation, grief and aberrant desire. Her previous short fiction, including Please Make Sure You Take All Your Personal Belongings With You (Dear Damsels) and Elemental (Mookychick) has explored everything from fetishes for automated voices to witchcraft.

With her debut novel, Fairclough charts a different course. A tense and thoughtful mystery, Bear Season follows Jade Hunter, a PHD student from Manchester who goes missing in Alaska in 2016, before all suspicion turns to the reclusive survivalist Ursula Smith. No body has been found but Ursula is convicted of murder, nonetheless. Two years later, Jade’s doctoral thesis is leaked online and investigative journalist Carla Young digs into Jade’s disappearance but more importantly, what brought the young student to Alaska in the first place…

A dark fairy tale told in found texts and shifting points of view and reliability, Bear Season is an addictive slice of mystery fiction, and one we look forward to hearing more about at House of Books & Friends, where Fairclough will be discussing her writing process and the experience of working with new independent publisher, Wild Hunt. Rosie Garland, tagged “literary hero” by The Skinny, should make for a great conversation partner here, her bewitched, twisted fiction having many parallels with Fairclough’s own.

House of Books & Friends is not only a bookshop but a community space, born during the pandemic, when reports began to show how 45 per cent of people in the UK experienced loneliness. With the aim of “tackling loneliness, one book at a time”, this bookshop, café and meeting space also programmes some brilliant events and activities, which take place in a gloriously atmospheric, wood-panelled events space at the back. All housed within the historic Grade II-listed Manchester Club building on King Street.

With the bookshop having just been named as a North England finalist for the Independent Bookshop of the Year award at The British Book Awards 2024, there’s all the more reason to check it out, if you haven’t already, and this event with Gemma Fairclough is a fantastic excuse to do so.

Gemma Fairclough in conversation with Rosie Garland: Bear Season at House of Books & Friends, Manchester 14 March 2024 Tickets from £5.00 Book now

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