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Nina Simone's Gum - Warren Ellis

Nina Simone's Gum - Warren Ellis
Nina Simone's Gum - Warren EllisNina Simone's Gum - Warren EllisNina Simone's Gum - Warren Ellis
Nina Simone's Gum - Warren EllisNina Simone's Gum - Warren Ellis

We have just 1 copy left from this signed and numbered (№ 42) collectors’ limited edition of only 150 copies!

Title: Nina Simone’s Gum

Author:  Warren Ellis

ISBN:  9780571372874

Weight:  1.38 kg

Signed and numbered collectors’ limited edition [first edition, first printing]



Sorry, sold out

This book is only available as part of a set

Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis

From award-winning musician and composer Warren Ellis comes the unexpected and inspiring story of a piece of chewing gum (with an introduction from Nick Cave).

‘I hadn’t opened the towel that contained her gum since 2013.  The last person to touch it was Nina Simone, her saliva and fingerprints unsullied.  The idea that it was still in her towel was something I had drawn strength from.  I thought each time I opened it some of Nina Simone’s spirit would vanish.  In many ways that thought was more important than the gum itself.’

On Thursday 1 July, 1999, Dr Nina Simone gave a rare performance as part of Nick Cave’s Meltdown Festival.  After the show, in a state of awe, Warren Ellis crept onto the stage, took Dr Simone’s piece of chewed gum from the piano, wrapped it in her stage towel and put it in a Tower Records bag.  The gum remained with him for twenty years; a sacred totem, his creative muse, growing in significance with every passing year.

In 2019, Cave – his collaborator and great friend – asked Warren if there was anything he could contribute to display in his Stranger Than Kindness exhibition.  Warren realised the time had come to release the gum.  Together they agreed it should be housed in a glass case like a holy relic.  Worrying the gum would be damaged or lost, Warren decided to first have it cast in silver and gold, sparking a chain of events that no one could have predicted, one that would take him back to his childhood and his relationship to found objects.

Nina Simone’s Gum is about how something so small can form beautiful connections between people.  It is a story about the meaning we place on things, on experiences, and how they become imbued with spirituality.  It is a celebration of artistic process, friendship, understanding and love.

Peer & Press Reviews

[Nina Simone’s Gum] is a metaphor for [Ellis’] creativity – the blossoming of a small idea into something bigger and bolder – but also a journey inside the impulsive, improvisatory mind of Warren Ellis, his passions, obsessions and superstitions.


A unique study of a fan’s devotion, of transcendence and of the artistic vocation – it’s got depth and great warmth.  It’s a beautiful piece of work.

Kevin Barry

[A] beautiful, strikingly idiosyncratic book – part memoir, part essay, part conceptual art project, all testament to humans at their strangest and best… [Ellis] sees signifiance where others might not.

MOJO Magazine

Bibliographic Info

TitleNina Simone’s Gum
Book Features
Edition / printingFaber Collectors’ first edition, first printing
Edition background and features

This Faber Members collectors’ limited edition comes from a print run of only 150 signed and numbered copies.


  • Bound and sewn by hand.
  • Text printed on archival quality (neutral pH, acid free, chlorine free) 145gsm cream Zerkall Book paper, which is a German premium mould-made paper.
  • G . F Smith 120gsm Twist Gold, which is a combination of paper and non-woven fabric, is used on the cover. The cover features a recessed design in pale gold (see image) with the title and author’s name gold blocked on the spine.
  • Endpapers printed to match the metal shaving imagery on the cover of the accompanying pamphlet (see image).
  • Purple ribbon marker and decorative head and tail bands.


  • Thirty-two page handsewn pamphlet that includes several unique photographs.  These are printed on 145gsm cream Zerkall Book paper.  The cover (see image) is printed with an image of metal shavings and is 210 x 159mm in size.


  • Covered in purple cloth, lined in black, with the title blind blocked on the front panel (see image).
  • Sized to hold both the book and its pamphlet.
Book number42 of 150
Overall condition

Presumed at least Fine / na / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades) as it’s still in its original brown paper wrapping - as issued by the publisher.

The wrapping has a label that gives the title, the author’s name, the name of the publisher, the book’s ISBN and its [limited edition] copy number.

SignedOn a signature / number confirmation page (see image)
Book Stats
PublisherFaber & Faber
Publication date
ISBN 139780571372874
FormatHardcover with slipcase, no dust jacket
Size (h x w x d)225 x 165 x 45mm (in brown paper wrapping)
Packed weight1.384kg [heavy book]

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