Umbrella

Umbrella

Umbrella, 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.

Umbrella US reviews

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.

On Umbrella’s US publication

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.