Synopses & Reviews
"This uneven catchall for a decade's worth of previously published critiques, interviews and essays by British novelist Self (The Quantity Theory of Insanity) roams from 'ultimate rock chick' Marianne Faithfull to avant-garde artist Tracey Emin, who draws herself masturbating, to his 'hero' Oscar Wilde, whose London statue has been repeatedly vandalized. Self is at his cantankerously witty best when pondering his own sexual ambivalence and his parents' open marriage as he interviews a transsexual law professor who sued unsuccessfully for parental rights, tours the London drug scene, discusses Americans' 'strange way of thinking' with J.G. Ballard or realizes, on a visit to Israel, that he is a Jewish anti-Semite. Less successful is a dated interview with the late radical feminist Andrea Dworkin, who laments her 'invisibility' on the American political scene as opposed to her popularity in Europe and calls President Clinton a rapist. Also past their sell-by dates are a churlish, envious review of Nick Hornby's bestselling novel High Fidelity and an interview with Martin Amis that retreads the novelist's fearless support of Salman Rushdie, the breakup of his marriage and his rivalry with Julian Barnes. And conspicuously absent from this literary grab bag is a preface that ties the varied pieces together into a coherent whole. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Will Self is one of the most important British novelists of his generation, and he is as acclaimed in the UK for his outstanding, daring journalism as he is for his fiction. Now finally available in America, Junk Mail
is an original selection of pieces from Self's nonfiction and journalism that will introduce American readers to Self as a literary journalist par excellence.
Animated by the scathing brilliance and unflinching determination to walk the road less traveled, Junk Mail is an often irreverent trawl through a landscape of drugs, culture, art, literature, and current events topics Self illuminates with a keen and entirely original eye. We follow Self into the operation of an upstanding crack dealer, behind the myth of the "pragmatist" approach to drug legalization on the streets of Amsterdam, and to lunch with Indian author Salman Rushdie. Whether he is writing about bad boy British artist Damien Hirst, how literary renegade William Burroughs has changed our outlook on art and intoxication, or what the current state of transsexuality has to say about gender for all of us, this is a lively and necessary anthology from one of the defining voices of our times.