From 11am Saturday 17th July Housmans will be having a sale of the library of the late writer and political activist Mike Marqusee, who died of cancer in 2015 aged 61. We are extremely thankful to Mike’s partner Liz Davies for donating the books to us.
Numbering approximately 1,000 titles, the books reflect Mike’s varied interests, including music, art, socialist history and theory, Indian history and culture, Jewish politics, the US left and counterculture, and an extensive run of poetry books. Mike was well known for writing politically about sport, though these books have gone to another home, as has his collection on the US civil rights struggle, and on William Blake and Thomas Paine.
This is a chance for us to celebrate Mike’s life and legacy, share his eclectic reading with you, and also help us to raise funds in what is proving to be a very hard financial year for Housmans; government financial support has stopped, and our patch of Caledonian Road has seen local business decimated by the pandemic with over 60% of neighbouring traders forced to shut permanently.
Mike was a great supporter of Housmans, and in 2014 we were privileged to launch his final book ‘The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer’, as well as host a reading of his poetry collection ‘Street Music’ (pictured below). We will have copies of Mike’s authored books available for sale, some of which are now out of print.
For those unfamiliar with Mike’s legacy we strongly recommend reading Colin Robinson’s obituary in The Guardian for an overview of his illustrious career. In a subsequent forthcoming post on this blog we will publish in full Liz Davies excellent introduction to Mike’s life and work, previously featured in the Mike Marqusee anthology “Definable Traces in the Atmosphere: Selected Writings” (OR Books, 2018)
Due to the large number of books donated to us we expect the sale to run for at least three weeks, from 7th July – 7th August 2021. All books will be priced as affordably as possible, with a general pricing plan of £1, £3 and £5 applying to the vast majority of stock.