Meet the Author events at Hydra Books

The following meet the author events are taking place early this year

at Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market, Bristol BS2 0EZ

“The Safety Net” – by Clive Hendry

 Thursday 05/01/2012 7:00 pm


The Safety Net is a fact based novel set in a hostel for homeless

people. The book follows eight people living and working in the hostel

as they struggle with the loss of independence within the bureaucracy

and inefficiencies of the welfare state. The novel is structured as a

series of overlapping short stories, one for each main character.


Each of them find somewhere to live in Webber House, a hostel for the

homeless. But in the bureaucratic, under-resourced world of support

services, will Webber House be the safety net they need?


“Out of It” – Selma Dabbagh

 Wednesday 25/01/2012 7:00 pm


Gaza is being bombed. After spending the night getting stoned watching

it happen, Rashid wakes to hear that he’s got the escape route he’s been

waiting for: a scholarship to London. His sister, Iman – frustrated by

atrocities and inaction around her – has spent the night at a meeting

that offers her nothing but more frustration. Grabbing desperately at

another opportunity, she finds herself followed by an unknown fighter. A

gripping tale of dispossession and belonging, treachery and loyalty,

endurance and bravery, Out of It follows the lives of Rashid and Iman as

they try to forge places for themselves in the midst of occupation, the

growing divide between Palestinian factions, and the rise of Islamic

fundamentalism. Written with extraordinary humanity and sharp humour,

this book re-defines Palestine and its people.


“An original and vivid voice. Full of energy, this is a new and welcome

take on the Palestinian story.” AHDAF SOUEIF


Selma’s first novel, Out of It, is being published by Bloomsbury (UK)

on 5 December and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Press (BQFP) on 17

December 2011. The US edition is coming out with Bloomsbury USA in June



“Counterpower,  making change happen” –  Tim Gee

 Thursday 26/01/2012 7:00 pm


Counterpower is the single idea which explains why social movements

succeed or fail. It has helped win campaigns, secure human rights, stop

wars and even bring down governments.


Change can and does happen. But why is it that some campaigns succeed

while others fail? Is it luck, or is there a common strategy unifying

those that have achieved their aim, and what can we learn from the past?

In Counterpower, activist Tim Gee seeks to get to the root of how change

happens by taking an in-depth look at the strategies and tactics that

have contributed to the success (or otherwise) of some of the most

prominent movements for change from India’s Independence Movement to the

Arab Spring. He concludes that any campaign is winnable in theory, but

only if we are aware of our power.


About the Author: Tim Gee delivers training sessions for political

activists. He studied Politics at Edinburgh University, where he was

also active in the student movement. Tim has also contributed to several

campaigning guides and manuals.


“The Little Book of Prison, A Beginners Guide” –  Frankie Owens

 Tuesday 21/02/2012 7:00 pm


A Beginners Guide is the award winning book by ex prisoner Frankie

Owens. Written during his time behind bars, the book aims to be the

little helping hand that first time offenders might need as they enter

the system.


Frankie Owens wrote The Little Book of Prison, A Beginners Guide to

help future inmates, their families and loved ones to help make sense of

what they would all go through when someone goes to prison. He writes

from his own experience as a prisoner living at Her Majesties Pleasure.


The book won the 2011 Koestler Platinum award for non-fiction judged by Will Self.


“Our awards judges don’t give a Platinum Award lightly, and this book

is a winner on more than one level. It is a practical and totally frank

introduction to real life in the British prison system – probably the

best introduction there is. But it is also a wonderfully human narrative

and a sharply argued critique – the wit and wisdom of one inmate who

turns out to be a born writer. I was gripped from start to finish –

roared with laughter one minute, winced with pain the next, and was left

wondering why we have prisons at all.”

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