A British author is using the innovative crowdfunding publisher Unbound to raise fund to create a new novel set in eleventh-century England. Potential readers are being asked to donate between £10 to £300 in order to get The Wake published.
Paul Kingsnorth, known for his writings on globalisation and the anti-capitalist movement, is best known for his political travel books, One No Many Yeses (2003) and Real England (2008). He is now aiming to write his first fictional work.
The Wake is set in the three years after the Norman invasion of 1066, an event which – despite its superficial familiarity – Kingsnorth believes was the most traumatic and significant in English history. It tells the story of a fractured band of guerilla fighters who take up arms against the invaders. Hung carefully on the known historical facts, The Wake restores to vivid life the almost forgotten, decade-long war of underground resistance which spread across England after 1066.
To do this, Kingsnorth had to invent a new language: a middle ground between the Old English that would have been spoken by these characters and the English we speak today. He says, ‘I gradually began to see why: the language that we speak is so utterly specific to our time and place. Our assumptions, our politics, our worldview, our attitudes – all are implicit in our words, and what we do with them. In order to have any chance of this novel working, I realised I needed to imagine myself into the sheer strangeness of the past. I couldn’t do that by putting 21st century language into the mouths of eleventh-century people.’
The Wake is described as a story of a fractured band of guerilla fighters who take up arms against the invaders. It is hung carefully on the known historical facts about the almost forgotten, decade-long war of underground resistance which spread across England in the decade after 1066.
Readers can learn more about the novel at: http://www.unbound.co.uk/books/the-wake
Pledges can be for as little as £10 for the digital edition, or as much as £150 to join Paul for a tour of the site of the Battle of Hastings or £300 to receive one of 20 copies bound in medieval-style goatskin. Nearly 40% of the funding has already been raised for the book.
Unbound launched its first book in 2011, and is the first crowd funding company to be solely dedicated to publishing books. It has published over a dozen books to date.