, was published in the UK by Bloomsbury on 16th August 2012. You can buy online at Amazon.co.uk
Umbrella was published in the USA by Grove Press on January 8th 2013 – You can buy online at Amazon.com
“A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.” James Joyce, Ulysses
Recently having abandoned his RD Laing-influenced experiment in running a therapeutic community – the so-called Concept House in Willesden – maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner arrives at Friern Hospital, a vast Victorian mental asylum in North London, under a professional and a marital cloud. He has every intention of avoiding controversy, but then he encounters Audrey Dearth, a working-class girl from Fulham born in 1890 who has been immured in Friern for decades. More...
Listen to an interview with Will Self about Umbrella on KCRW (of Santa Monica College) here.
In largeheartedboy.com’s Book Notes series, Will Self has created – and discusses – a music playlist that relates to his most recently published book, Umbrella, from the Kinks’ “Ape Man” to ”Don’t Let it Die” by Hurricane Smith.
Here’s an interview with Will Self in the National Post of Canada, and another one for the Daily Beast.
Also, there’s a review of Umbrella at the NPR, which hails it as a “modernist masterpiece”, and an interview with Will here (which includes a reading from Umbrella by Will), and also a review in the Washington Post too.
Will Self is going to conduct a live video chat with the LA Times today at 10am Pacific (6pm GMT) about his new novel, Umbrella, and many other things besides.
Watch again here.
For US readers of Umbrella, here’s Will on how he researched his latest novel, which is a good introduction: More...
Grove has just published Umbrella in the States, and early reviews have been as effusive as they were in the UK last year.
The Boston Globe: “The result is page after page of gorgeously musical prose. Self’s sentences bounce and weave, and like poetry, they refract. The result is mesmerizing.”
For the full review, go here.
The Economist: “An entertaining and enthralling book … [Self] has managed to write an experimental novel that is also a compassionate and thrilling book—and one that, despite its difficulty, deserves to be read.”
For the full review, go here. More...
This will be the first major publication of one of my books in the US that I haven’t crossed the pond for – and so salutations to my American readers; I write to you from my London fastness, tucked up snugly at the top of my 1848 house in sarf London, looking across the rooftops to where Renzo Piano’s Shard upthrusts, a teasing A la recherche de priapisme perdu. I have mixed feelings about not making it over – I am, of course, a demi-American on the maternal side, and hold a US passport, so the States is not so much close to me as engrafted. On the other hand, if I have any nationality at all, it’s Londonish, and the older I get, the less I like to stray. More...
To buy an unabridged audio book version of Umbrella, by Whole Story Audiobooks, which has also produced audio versions of The Butt, Liver (read by Will), The Book of Dave (also read by Will) and How the Dead Live, go to Amazon here.
Will’s own readings of Dorian (Penguin) and Revelation (Canongate) are also available on audio.
According to the Independent, Will Self was the winner of the “best photobomb in the history of the Bookers” with this picture.