16 Sep 2014

Will Self: Shark

From Nine To Noon, 10:07 am on 16 September 2014
Will Self

Will Self Photo: Chris Close

Acclaimed author, journalist and social provocateur Will Self talks about his new novel Shark.

Shark is set in an experimental residential community in North West London run by anti-psychiatrist Zack Busner, a character who will be familiar to fans. As with Shark, Self's subject matter often includes mental illness, illegal drugs and psychiatry.

We live in a culture in which the appearance of rationality is highly prized above all things.  My novel deals with themes of horror, war, conflict and how they affect the wider psychology of a society.  When we are confronted by this we tend to, in our media and our cultural comment, behave as if we are highly rational about it, but infact we are anything but: it arouses our most primitive anxieties, fears, cascades of confused thinking.

- Will Self

Will Self is the author of eleven novels, five collections of shorter fiction, three novellas and five collections of non-fiction writing. His work has been translated into 22 languages, and his novel Umbrella was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His fiction is known for being satirical, grotesque, and fantastical, and is predominantly set within London.

Will Self talks to Kathryn Ryan.