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White Noise Ballrooms

“The devil is at our heels . . . . at the heart of the city’s aberrations.”

Picture a lost city in northern England during the momentous winter of 1978—the final winter before the onset of the Thatcher era, at the peak of the punk rock movement. A notorious serial killer—the Yorkshire Ripper—terrorizes the city’s women, unhindered by an aimless police force. Violent outbursts of gang warfare transect the city’s streets while an immense insane asylum overlooks the chaos from the outskirts.

This innovative and disturbing novel follows a group of teens as they engulf themselves in punk-rock cacophonies and the accompanying riots that erupt in the city’s decrepit hotel ballrooms and subterranean nightclubs. Written in a captivating, immersive first-person voice that meshes raw corporeality and urban insurgency, White Noise Ballrooms deploys recent history to piercingly illuminate the contemporary moment.

224 pages | 5 x 8 | © 2018

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Reviews

“Stephen Barber is one of our very best writers, and White Noise Ballrooms is his very best book, to date. An addictive evocation of times and places, then a poetic excavation of those times and places; times and places which are at the heart of Stephen Barber's work, and at the heart of so many of our lives; quite simply, a brilliant book.”

David Peace, author of Red Riding Quartet

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