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In National Work-Life Week new book warns of dangers of going too far in enforcing work-life balance
While others promote programmes to support work-life balance, author Mike French warns in his book, Blue Friday, of the dire consequences of allowing state intervention to protect family time.
Dystopian satire, Blue Friday warns of a future where many live in fear of the Family Protection Agency, a special police division enforcing the strict legislation that has been introduced to protect the family unit. By 2034, in Britain, overtime for married couples is banned, there is enforced viewing of family television (much of it repeats of old shows from the nineteen-sixties and -seventies), monitored family meal-times and a coming of age where any unmarried twenty-five year-olds are automatically assigned a compulsory spouse by the state computer. Only the Overtime Underground network resists.
Combining dark humour with a vision of the future that inverts the classic dystopian nightmare, this latest novel from Mike French tackles important and timely social issues, following in the tradition of great Speculative Fiction satirists such as Jonathan Swift. Thoughtful, yet prompting a wry smile in the reader, it reverses the usual perception of a future regime driven by productivity and industrial output at the expense of family, demonstrating that the converse may be no better. Especially pertinent this week as the benefits of balancing work and life go largely unchallenged.
In her review, Magdalena Ball says “this clever, beautifully written story takes the notion of ‘family friendly working hours’ and work-life balance and follows the idea to a terrifying conclusion.”
Juxtabook said “Great satire on the modern obsession with a work/life balance”
About Mike French
Mike French is the owner and senior editor of the prestigious literary magazine, The View From Here which has been called many fine things since it started in 2007 including, “Attractive, informative, sparkling and useful” by Iain M. Banks and for having a “great passion and drive” by Booker shortlisted Tom McCarthy. Mike’s debut novel, The Ascent of Isaac Steward came out in 2011 with Cauliay Publishing and was nominated for The Galaxy National Book Awards which due to an unfortunate clerical error was awarded to Dawn French.
Born in Cornwall in 1967, Mike spent his childhood flipping between England and Scotland with a few years in between in Singapore. Splitting his time between his own writing, editing the magazine, running author workshops and working with atp media in Luton, Mike is married with three children and a growing number of pets. He currently lives in Luton in the UK and when not working watches Formula 1, eats Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and listens to Noah and the Whale.
About Blue Friday
Blue Friday is Mike French’s second novel. It was published in digital format (ePub, Kindle, Kobo, Apple iBook) on 1 September 2012, and will be published in a print edition on 10 November – with a launch party at Novacon 42 in Nottingham, UK
eBook ISBN 9781908168177 £2.49 / €2.99 / $3.99 (Sep 2012)
print 192pp: ISBN 9781908168078 £9.99 / €11.99 / $15.99 (Nov 2012)
Digital ARC available now; Print ARC available soon.
A book trailer for Blue Friday can be found at bit.ly/BlueFridayTrailer
More information about the book can be found at http://elsewhen.co.uk/
Elsewhen Press contact: Al Murray
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