Here at www.will-self.com, we’re running a Q&A with Will to coincide with the publication of The Butt, which we’ll publish on the site and at Bloomsbury’s too. Simply email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put the best of them to him. The deadline for sending in your questions is April 14.
Yes, it’s competition time again, to celebrate the publication of Will’s new novel, The Butt.
Will has kindly offered one of his very own copies of his first ever published work, a collection of cartoons he did for the New Statesman, Slump, as first prize (the winner will receive a copy of The Butt too). There were very limited numbers of the paperback book published by Virgin in 1985, and it remains one of the most collectable of Will’s books. Bloomsbury has also kindly offered nine more copies of The Butt as runners-up prizes.
Sophie is trying to house train Minnie, a tiny terrier puppy with glossy black fur. So far as I can discern, Sophie is a perfect trainer: gentle, yet firm. When Minnie voids one of her mousy little turds on the stone flags of the kitchen, or pees on the settee, Sophie scoops her up, taps her on the nose and says: “Oooh! You bad girl! How could you? How could you?” They say a dog returns to its own shit (do they? Who are they, and why do they say such things?), but in this case it’s me who feels a compulsion to return to writing on the subject: a doleful, incontinent scribe, I am, describing the world with a thick stroke, extruded from my dogged pen.
A few words on this video clip. It was filmed — as should be obvious — in the back of a London cab, beginning as it crossed Vauxhall Bridge, continuing as it headed up through Victoria, and then continuing, as its route and the route taken by Dave Rudman, in the opening sequence of The Book of Dave, intersect. Finally, it comes to an end on the Edgware Road, where Dave’s fare is staring bemusedly at the promenading Arabs.
Will is due to attend the Flip literary festival in Brazil in July and will also be at the Edinburgh Festival, which runs from August 10 to September 2.
Will is going to be talking to Philip Hensher on Tuesday February 27 at the Parker Moot Room, Amory Building, University of Exeter from 7pm to 8.30pm, £8/£4 concessions, 01392 667080.
Will is going to be discussing his relationship with London with the writer Iain Sinclair and others at the Tate Britain Auditorium in London this Friday, November 3. The event is free. For more details, visit www.tate.org.uk/britain/eventseducation/talks/6275.htm
Congratulations to the winners of our Book of Dave competition: Elizabeth Wright, Cheshire; Richard Doe, Oxford; Matthew Eyre, Derbyshire; Andy Howes, Herts; Leo Evans-Doran, Cambridge; Rik James, Surrey; Sheila Bonas, Leicester; Spencer Elliott, Kent; Matt Smith, Hants; and John Foyle, Somerset.
We have 10 signed copies of Will Self’s new novel to give away to celebrate the publication of The Book of Dave, courtesy of Penguin. Simply answer the following question:
Dave Roth was the name given to the cab driver in The Book of Dave in an early synopsis of the book, but which band did David Lee Roth used to be the lead singer of?
a) Van Halen
b) Van der Graaf Generator
c) Van Morrison
Email your answer with your name and address to email@example.com with the subject line “Book of Dave competition”. You must live in the UK to enter. Deadline for entries June 15.
Charles Wyrick, 1999
“No, these are not bad jokes or out-takes from The Twilight Zone, these are quintessential Will Self creations. For all their outrageousness, these tales radiate a narrative charm. For every goofy plot turn you’ll find an equally well plotted character or adroitly spun metaphor. Whether dealing with nerdy parents or hardened drug addicts, Self nails his subjects with an exacting, invigorating stylistic temper like that of the truly great satirists. Surely Self is one of them — if that’s not too immodest a proposal.”