Category Archives: Call to Arms

Call to Arms

Modern LGBTQ+ fiction of the Second World War

Blurb: Seventeen stories, thirteen authors, a second war. Once again Manifold Press’s writers explore the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their war-time experience in cities, towns and countryside across the world.

Amidst war and peace, in the thick of violence or in an unexpected lull, these stories of the Second World War take the reader far and wide: through Britain, Europe, Asia and South America, from loss and parting to love and homecoming. As for home, it may be an ordinary house, or a prison camp, or a ship: but it is, in the end, where you find it, however far you have to go. Read this book, and make the journey yourself.

An anthology edited by Heloise Mezen and featuring authors Julie Bozza, Barry Brennessel, Charlie Cochrane, Andrea Demetrius, Adam Fitzroy, Elin Gregory, Sandra Lindsey, JL Merrow, Eleanor Musgrove, R.A. Padmos, Michelle Peart, Megan Reddaway, and Jay Lewis Taylor.

Genre: LGBTQ+ fiction; historical; contemporary; wartime; anthology

Click here for the blurbs.

Word count: 94,500

Available in ebook formats from:

Available in paperback format from 1 November.

All proceeds will be donated to the British Refugee Council (Registered Charity No. 1014576).

blurbs: Call to Arms

THE STORIES

An Affirming Flame
Jay Lewis Taylor
Berlin, July 1939. In the hot weather Patrick Lawson, music student and English tutor, has managed to ignore signs that all may not be well for at least one of his friends. It takes a piano in the wrong house, and then a missed train, to push him nearer to the truth than he might like.

Extraordinary Duties
Elin Gregory
In the early days of the Second World War, every man and woman is expected to serve their country, but sometimes the most unexpected people are called upon to fulfil extraordinary duties.

The Boy Left Behind
Eleanor Musgrove
Henry is used to people staring at her, with her men’s clothes and her peculiar ways. She and her girlfriend Rosie have stopped paying attention to the gossip and built a cosy home together. But when evacuation drops ten-year-old Tom into their life, Henry can only hope that he’ll accept her as she is.

The Man Who Loved Pigs
Megan Reddaway
When MI5 wireless operator Mike Bernsey meets a stranger in the London Blitz, it feels like something special. Eddy’s unforgettable. But for Mike, there’s no love without betrayal.

We Live Without a Future
Julie Bozza
With their home in London destroyed in the Blitz, Leonard and Virginia Woolf find what peace they can in a village near the Sussex coast. But with German and British planes grinding overhead, and the looming threat of a Nazi invasion, there is never enough peace to be had. There is never enough.

Continue reading blurbs: Call to Arms

stories: We Live Without a Future

When Manifold Press decided on a new anthology – a companion piece to our Great War anthology A Pride of Poppies, but this time about the Second World War – I thought long and hard about the subject matter. The fact is, I know far less about WW2 than I do about the Great War, so I felt it all too possible that I would have nothing to contribute.

One abiding interest of mine, though, is the Bloomsbury Group and in particular Leonard and Virginia Woolf. I love them both dearly, and for me they are indelibly associated with a great deal of the first half of the 20th century, including the Second World War.

The relationship of each member of the Bloomsbury Group with war was quite complex and individual. There’s a great little article by Roy Johnson exploring their varied actions and reactions on the Mantex site, if you want to explore further. His initial focus is on the Great War, but he includes later developments.

I knew that Leonard and Virginia were afraid of a Nazi invasion of Britain – a possibility that was very real at the time. We tend to dismiss such notions now, because of course we know it never did happen, but it was experienced by people at the time as a genuine fear.

Continue reading stories: We Live Without a Future