Morris Travellers, Arts and Crafts houses, and hats like velveteen cowpats. Granny Smith apples, fading memories of the Great War, and age- stiffened Barbour jackets that seem to possess a life of their own. Disintegrating cliffs, inundated villages and houses crumbling into the sea. Silent docks, seething asylums and brambles that speak of ‘profound localism’ as they proliferate beside malls, motorways and international airports. Miniature portraits, miniature people and a general “scaling up of the small”, which may be characteristic of post-imperial nations now engaging in “stature denial”. . . Will Self will talk about England and its transforming presence in his recent writings, including the novel Umbrella and his travel book Walking to Hollywood (2010) and the earlier collection of stories Scale (1995).
Will Self is the author of many novels and diverse works of non-fiction too. How the Dead Live was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2002.The Butt won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2008. His new novel, Umbrella, is published in September 2012. He lives in South London.
Patrick Wright is Professor of Literature and Visual & Material Culture in the English Department at King’s College London.
Patrick will be exploring the same theme in his Inaugural Lecture entitled 'The Small Society: What happens when England shrinks' during the Festival.
To book, go to our booking page.