Something rich and strange

Edited by Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler

Paperback -
  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9781526144140
  • Publish Date: Nov 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now £12.99

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    eBook +
  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9781526144157
  • Publish Date: Nov 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now £12.99

    Delivery Exc. North and South America


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    Book Information

    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4414-0
    • Pages: 360
    • Price: £12.99
    • Published Date: November 2020


    What is Manchester? Moving far from the glitzy shopping districts and architectural showpieces, away from cool city-centre living and modish cultural centres, this book shows us the unheralded, under-appreciated and overlooked parts of Greater Manchester in which the majority of Mancunians live, work and play. It tells the story of the city thematically, using concepts such a 'material', 'atmosphere', 'waste', 'movement' and 'underworld' to challenge our understanding of the quintessential post-industrial metropolis.

    Bringing together contributions from twenty-five poets, academics, writers, novelists, historians, architects and artists from across the region alongside a range of captivating photographs, this book explores the history of Manchester through its chimneys, cobblestones, ginnels and graves. This wide-ranging and inclusive approach reveals a host of idiosyncrasies, hidden spaces and stories that have until now been neglected.


    'Dobraszczyk and Butler have gathered together a set of excavations and forgagings which piece together very different visions of the towns and developments and rivers and canals and in-between spaces that make up the disjointed, uneven, ever-changing city of Manchester. Here, in the book's exploration of undervalued urban spaces, readers will find the traces of other futures, snickets and ginnels, a rumour of salmon, slow-worms appearing in old brickworks, the amazing story of the city's hibakujumoko trees, and myriad other transplantations and spaces that twenty-first-century time has passed by.'
    John McAuliffe, poet and Reader of Creative Writing and Modern Literature, University of Manchester

    'Manchester: Something rich and strange epitomises everything that is wonderful about this great city. The book tells the story of Manchester's past and present in a unique and engaging way, bringing together a variety of contributors from a variety of different backgrounds.'
    Michala Hulme, author of A grim almanac of Manchester and Bloody British history: Manchester'

    'It is a book like the city; bold, brash, and gobby, moving from morbid self-pity to delirious triumph in mere moments. A guided tour where they pull up the floorboards and let you see what lies beneath.'
    Manchester Review of Books

    'There's strong material in this ragbag of themed think-pieces - Rose recalling the attack which prompted her to reclaim the streets from her nightmares; Kalu conjuring the realities of Manchester's sewer system with unnerving brio; Tim Edensor on the sources of municipal cobble stone; Hanson on the ubiquity of facades in post-modern, post-Factory Records Manchester - plus Simon Buckley's celebrated 'iPhone Lowry' on the cover and a good helping of Dobraszczyk's magnificently crisp photography.'

    Manchester Confidential


    Introduction - Manchester: seeing like a city

    Spirit - Morag Rose
    Feel - Sean R. Mills
    Corridor - Sarah Butler
    Chimney - Jonathan Silver
    Night - Nick Dunn
    Moors - Cassie Britland

    Statue - Natalie Bradbury
    Museum - Jonathan Silver
    Shopping centre - Martin Dodge
    Stained glass - Clare Hartwell
    Sculpture - Natalie Bradbury

    Exchange - Steve Hanson
    Stone - Tim Edensor
    Ring road - Nick Dunn
    Loop - Natalie Bradbury
    Bus stop - Peter Kalu
    Walk - Morag Rose

    Cotton - Martin Dodge
    Brick - James Thorp
    Co-op - Natalie Bradbury
    Newspaper - Natalie Bradbury
    Car wash - Peter Kalu

    Medieval - Clare Hartwell
    Railway - Brian Rosa
    Stadium - Tim Edensor
    Hair - Jenna C. Ashton
    Baths - Matthew Steele

    Sewer - Peter Kalu
    Arches - Brian Rosa
    Grave - Cassie Britland
    Violence - Andrew McMillan
    Prison - Cassie Britland

    Dye - James Thorp
    Arsenic - Becky Alexis-Martin
    Shadows - Nick Dunn
    Rhythm - Joanne Hudson
    Ruins - Tim Edensor
    Redundant - Matthew Steele

    Facade - Steve Hanson
    Cloister - Clare Archibald
    Thread - Jenna C. Ashton
    Radium - Becky Alexis-Martin
    Passage - Paul Dobraszczyk
    Cobble - Tim Edensor

    Wildscape - Joanne Hudson
    Edges - Nick Dunn
    Ginkgo - Becky Alexis-Martin
    Canal - Morag Rose
    Gardens - Matthew Steele

    Flower - Sarah Sayeed
    Bee - Paul Dobraszczyk
    Riot - Sarah Butler
    Atom - Steve Hanson
    Tudor - Paul Dobraszczyk

    Homeless - Steve Hanson
    B&B - Sarah Butler
    Synagogue - Jonathan Silver
    Mosque - Qaisra Shahraz
    Immigrant - Qaisra Shahraz
    Laundrette - Peter Kalu

    Notes on contributors
    Photo acknowledgements


    Paul Dobraszczyk is a researcher and writer based in Manchester and a Teaching Fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. He is the author of Future Cities: Architecture and the Imagination (2019) and The Dead City: Urban Ruins and the Spectacle of Decay (2017).

    Sarah Butler is a novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University. She is the author of Jack & Bet (2020) and Ten Things I've Learnt About Love: A Novel (2014) and explores the relationship between writing and place through her consultancy UrbanWords.


    Edited by Paul Dobraszczyk, Sarah Butler

    Paperback £12.99 / $18.95

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