John Berger described the great Soviet writer Andrey Platonov as ‘[understanding] living modern poverty more deeply than any other storyteller I have come across’. Published to mark Berger’s 90th birthday, A Sparrow’s Journey: John Berger reads Andrey Platonov, brings together one of Platonov’s most poignant short stories with a text by Berger on writing and poverty, inspired by his readings of Platonov’s work.

Accompanied by a CD recording of Berger reading Platonov’s story, a short essay by translator Robert Chandler, and an Afterword by Gareth Evans, this multimedia publication – the first from new imprint House Sparrow Press – brings together two kindred spirits in a unique, collaborative work.

With their voices echoing across time and place, both Platonov and Berger’s writing asserts the importance of solidarity and coexistence between creatures, and the joys – and costs – of trying to live honourably in a dishonourable age – a message truly central and necessary to our times.

Format: paperback, 102 x 182mm, 96pp, perfect bound, with cover artwork by John and Yves Berger, plus audio CD (44:34) in slipcase with 4 colour plates by Georgia Keeling.
600 copies
ISBN: 978-0-9935693-2-6
RRP: £9.99

Publication date: 1 November 2016

Click here to order a copy

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HOUSE SPARROW PRESS

Formed in 2016 to publish A Sparrow’s Journey, House Sparrow Press is, in the best and multiple senses of the word (it is hoped) an ‘occasional’ venture. Based in Hackney, London, it seeks to publish creatively committed, collaborative works both at a time that is relevant and for reasons that feel compelling. It is drawn to manuscripts of hybridity, titles that might elude conventional publication over concerns of form or scale. It also believes in a modesty of style (but never of ambition) and a fecundity of ideas. Its moniker (drawn from this first venture) celebrates a creature that was once ubiquitous and yet is now threatened. The idea of a bird inhabiting and inspiring a place of residence also feels resonant. This is what the best books do too. There are wings at work here. In short, Emily Dickinson was right (again) when she observed that ‘hope is the thing with feathers’.

House Sparrow Press comprises Jess Chandler (Publisher and Editor) and Gareth Evans (Editor). For this volume they give very special thanks to Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, Georgia Keeling, Thom Swann, Andrea Luka Zimmerman, the New York Review of Books, all at the FTM Agency and London Review of Books and, of course, John Berger.