Living Room Stories was an experiment – to write flash fiction to music, in response to Ólafur Arnalds Living Room Songs. Capturing seven moments in the life of a couple, exploring loneliness, troubled pasts and hurtful behaviour, yet the stories are cut through with hope and love. Love is key to these stories; without love I fear we are nothing. Each story is a memory and I encourage interaction with these memories, read, pause, drift and picture.
For the handmade editions I have reordered the stories into a linear retelling of the couple’s time together. However each story, which I see as a memory, is on a separate card, these individual cards encourage interaction with these memories. There is no set order, there was the blog order and there is the liner handmade editions order, and most importantly there is the choice for the reader to develop their own order.
The first edition limited to 25 copies sold out in 36 days around the world, thanks in part to Ólafur sharing it with his fans. There are some copies of the second handmade edition, limited to 50 copies, available. There will not be a third edition. Copies are available for £5.00 plus postage. The cover is a transparent print. Each of the stories are printed on individual double sided card with accompanying art or photography, housed in a seven inch record sleeve. Each copy is signed.
Living Room Stories featured featured in The Guardian Books Blog as an excellent example of self-publishing. ‘The handmade book … is the true masterpiece.’
‘I think what’s special is the sense of fragility he conveys. His characters, and his images, are all on the cusp of fading from view altogether. They are sous squeezed almost dry, yet in his stripped back grey prose the colours and hopes of what has leeched away return to haunt us long after we finish reading. The emotional power comes because we know these are characters who have lost but have never given up – and they wear that struggle in each word, as though Andy’s prose is a wrinkled skin covering them. His images, too, are of spaces in half light, on the border between desert and city, between construction and decay – places and things on the verge of not being. His work is made of layer after layer placed almost on top of one another to create something of utter simplicity.’ Dan Holloway, Author
‘What a collection this is. It would be no exaggeration to say that I have not taken pleasure out of a reading ‘experience’ quite like this before. I think that this was helped by reading each story aloud while listening to the corresponding piece from Arnalds’ collection. Harrod’s work should be regarded as a new form that calls on influences from literature, poetry and music. This project is a stunning marriage of the three, and I cannot wait to see what comes next.’ Rory O’Sullivan, Sabotage Reviews
‘They are largely about love and relationships and also happen to be very good. … Light is my favourite. A glimpse of a marriage with a tremendously romantic and moving final line.’ Scott Pack, Me and My Big Mouth