Will Self

(b. 1961)

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(1961– ),

English novelist and journalist, born in London. Self is a former cartoonist whose first collection of stories, The Quantity Theory of Insanity (1991), commanded immediate attention, both for the fertility of its ideas and for its hectic, energetic prose, filled with wordplay and arcane vocabulary. Cock and Bull (1992) contained a pair of novellas, each a wry commentary on gender reversal. Subsequent story collections include Grey Area (1994) and Tough Tough Toys For Tough Tough Boys (1998). Junk Mail (1995) is a selection of journalism which included some candid pieces about his drug addiction. His novel Great Apes (1997) shows his ability to seize upon an absurd premiss and see it through to its logical conclusion. This long satiric parable of a society where human beings are transformed into monkeys recalls Swift in its ambition and scatological vigour. Dorian (2002) is a retelling of Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Grey.

Subjects: Literature.

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