The FT said Phone is “A novel of grand ideas, powered by a ravenous curiosity about the role of the technological revolution in our private and public woes, Phone nonetheless bristles with anxiety about the abuse of ‘intelligence’ — in medicine, in warfare, in software, in love … [Self’s] hurricane of eloquence blows in terrific passages of satire, comedy, even suspense — not to mention his pitch-perfect ear for the jargons and lingoes of modernity.”
Listen to Will talking for about half an hour on Afternoon Edition (available for 28 days) on BBC Radio 5 live here at the 1hr 11 minute mark, taking in the “muted” general election, autism, how the smartphone has changed us and finishing his trilogy of modernist novels with Phone in which “a new technology is visited upon us and a new conflict ensues and what ensues from that … is a new form of mental illness”. He also reveals that he’ll be recording an audiobook of Phone and that his next book will be a memoir.
Wednesday 24 May: 6pm, International Literature Festival Dublin, Smock Alley Theatre, 6/7 Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin. (This event is being recorded for broadcast on The Book Show for RTÉ Radio 1.)
Tuesday 30 May: Radio 5 Live Afternoon Edition live interview. Later that evening, Radio 4 Front Row live interview.
Friday 2 June: 5.30pm, Hay festival, Tata Tent.
Tuesday 13 June: 7pm-8.30pm, Guardian Live in conversation with John Mullan, Islington Assembly Hall.
Thursday 29 June: 8pm, Hebden Bridge arts festival, Town Hall HX7 7BY.
Friday 30 June: 7pm, City Books, Ropetackle arts centre, High St, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.
Listen to Will Self in conversation with Michael Cathcart during the Melbourne writers festival here, taking in Shark, the future of the novel and much else besides.
Great interview with Will Self, shark expert Gareth Fraser and film critic Ian Hunter on Radio 3 about sharks, whales and the impact of the book and film Jaws.
Watch Will Self talking about a care home for the novel, rather than death, the meaning of his novella Leberknödel and much more:
Also, Will gave a reading from his latest novel, Shark, which is published in paperback on 5 March by Penguin:
Listen to Will Self give a reading from Shark and taking questions at the LRB bookshop recently, here.
Shark is published in hardback by Grove Atlantic in the US today, RRP $26:
“May 4, 1970. A week earlier, President Nixon ordered American ground forces into Cambodia to pursue the Vietcong. By the end of the day, four students will be shot dead by the National Guard on the grounds of Kent State University. On the other side of the Atlantic, it’s a brilliant sunny morning after an April of heavy rain, and at the “Concept House” therapeutic community he has set up in the London suburb of Willesden, maverick psychiatrist Dr. Zack Busner has been tricked into joining a decidedly ill-advised LSD trip with several of its disturbed residents. Five years later, sitting in a nearby cinema watching Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Busner realizes the true nature of the events that transpired on that dread-soaked day, when a survivor of the worst disaster in the U.S. Navy’s history—the sinking of the USS Indianapolis—came face-to-face with the British Royal Air Force observer on the Enola Gay’s mission to bomb Hiroshima.