Brian Marley

BRIAN MARLEY  was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Having begun to write poetry in his early teens, he was soon publishing widely in small press magazines in the UK and elsewhere. He edited the imprint Laundering Room Press between 1974-77. By 1982 he’d switched from poetry to prose and there he remains. His photographic work has been exhibited in Brighton and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Including p&p

Brian Marley writes: The project began in earnest in 2016. I was photographing something (can’t remember what) in a shop window and my reflection kept intruding annoyingly into the picture frame; so I decided that if I couldn’t keep it out of sight, I’d feature it instead – dead centre in most cases, or nearabouts. Because of my static and rather banal presence in each of the pics, attention is thrown onto the pic's surrounding details and the circumstances of capture.

Brian Marley

Brian Marley is best known for his absurdist novel Apropos Jimmy Inkling and for his riotous collection of short fictions The Shenanigans. On Reflection is something different. In his other guise as a photographer, Marley presents a sequence of images, mainly shot through glass (typically shop windows), in various locations. But our attention is distracted from the ostensible content of each photo by the reflected presence of a man, often wearing a hat, sometimes barely visible, always disruptive. That’s the photographer himself, normally the one element absent from photographs (selfies aside), caught in the act of taking the picture we’re looking at. And associated with each image is a text: a micro-story. The first begins: “Catching sight of himself makes him feel physically ill, so he takes pains to avoid mirrors. But despite his best efforts he sees himself everywhere he looks.” From which point the absurdities multiply, to tragicomic effect.

"Debunking the selfie, self-image and the auto-portrait, these are self-portraits in disguise. The images, self-reflexive and reflective – as are the texts – guide us through a series of locations designed to show how reflection works on multiple levels when photographing through glass, touching on Situationism and, with mordant humour, the death of the author." – Rosa Woolf Ainley

60pp (203mm x 203mm, full colour on art paper)

Including p&p

Brian Marley

Now it can be revealed ...

... why Jonah doesn’t want to talk about that business with the whale
... who the woman was in the Davy Jones and Casey Jones love triangle
... how a hapless former tennis pro tried to save a city from ruin
...why one generalissimo is never enough
... and twelve other windows on a world not quite our own    

"Brian Marley is a very funny man, and this is a very comical book. It’s also a very sad and tragic book. Human pain is serious, exquisite business, but the sizzle of its conflicts can manifest in all sorts of Rabelaisian rascality and – not infrequently – actual orgasm, the awkward, eruptive, inappropriate kind. Animating the hind end of a pantomime horse, for example, in a theatrical production behind one’s partner. The Shenanigans is aptly titled: here is an almanac of collywobbles, monkeyshines, and escapades of chimerical éclat..."

(so begins John Olson's review in Golden Handcuffs – to read the rest of it, download the pdf here)

And if you want an endorsement from musician Lloyd Swanton (The Necks), well, here it is in full.





978-1-874400-78-3  220pp   2020

Including p&p

Brian Marley

In a Westminster café-cum-courtroom, Jimmy Inkling is on trial, perhaps for his life. Unless, of course, he’s dead already. But will that be enough to prevent him from eliminating those who give evidence against him?

"What a marvelous novel! Madcap, often quite nuts, nothing like it. So thanks for the pleasure!" – TOBY OLSON

"Marley’s maverick novel ... delights in tying itself in knots which it eventually unravels. It is fiction which is happy to free-wheel, to swerve from this lane to that, get side-tracked, suddenly switch to the fast-lane, reverse and/or discover a circuitous route back to its starting point. In an Alice-like world, a café transforms itself into a court-room and a customer becomes the jury as a bevy of witnesses are assembled and interrogated as to the true nature of Inkling, who only got his name because he was a foundling and his finder hadn’t an inkling about from whence he hailed. The book comes highly recommended by dead authors (Ballard, Spark and Burgess)."
 ANTHONY HOWELL, Fortnightly Review

"Marley’s novel isn’t about establishing a state of guilt or innocence or solving a murder mystery, but examines and showcases (with abundant humor) our will to verify a single, absolute, unequivocal truth ... The language [in this book] is lively, colorful, ebullient and fun. It’s full of wit and imagination, myriad asides and an encyclopedic revelry in arcana, the kind James Joyce reveled in in Ulysses."
– JOHN OLSON, Golden Handcuffs Review


Review by SkylightRain

Review by Anthony Howell, The Fortnightly Review

Review by John Olson, Golden Handcuffs Review (PDF)

978-1-874400-73-8    318pp   2019