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Zoe Gilbert & Ben Short

Zoe Gilbert’s new novel, ‘Mischief Acts’, and Ben Short’s memoir, ‘Burn: A Story of Fire, Woods and Healing’ share a fascination with the forest and its transformative spirit.

Herne the hunter, mischief-maker, spirit of the forest, leader of the wild hunt, hurtles through the centuries pursued by his creator. Zoe Gilbert’s ‘Mischief Acts’ is British folklore as you've never read it before: dangerous, sexy, troubling, daring, savage, an exhilarating race through time and space, weaving together the ancient and the contemporary.

Ben Short’s ‘Burn: A Story of Fire, Woods and Healing’, is an intoxicating mix of evocative memoir and immersive folklore; it documents Short's flight from a stressful existence in the city to a centring - if gruelling - life at a charcoal kiln in the West Dorset woods.

Zoe Gilbert is the winner of the Costa Short Story Award 2014. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, and in anthology and journals in the UK and internationally. She has taken part in writing projects in China and South Korea for the British Council, and she is completing a PhD on folk tales in contemporary fiction. She is the co-founder of London Lit Lab, which provides writing courses and mentoring for writers. She lives in Folkestone.

Ben Short is a charcoal burner and woodsman, working in the Dorset countryside. A decade ago he worked as an advertising copywriter in London. He has lived in huts and old wagons, spent summers off-grid in woods, hauled his water from wells and had to forage for his supper. He lives in Dorset with his partner and son.

“This is the most adventurous, stylistically magnificent thing I've read for years. Nobody does fantasy like Zoe Gilbert.”
-Natasha Pulley on ‘Mischief Acts’

“Short's story is as much about work as it is escape and landscape; he illuminates the value of doing rather than thinking. Beautifully written, ‘Burn’ is melancholy and hopeful in equal measure.”
-The Mail on Sunday on ‘Burn’

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Mischief Acts

Hardback, 17/03/2022, £17.99


Paperback, 07/02/2019, £8.99

Burn: A Story of Fire, Woods and Healing

Hardback, 28/04/2022, £16.99
From advertising exec in the city to charcoal burner in the woods: a frank and inspiring memoir about letting go of what we're told to want, risking everything to find happiness and the brutal salve of nature.
Canterbury History Weekend 2023
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