Will Self Biography
(1961– ), The Quantity Theory of Insanity, Cock & Bull, My Idea of Fun, Grey Area
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: William Sansom (William Norman Trevor Sansom) Biography to Dr Seuss [Theodor Giesel] Biography
British novelist, born in London, educated at Oxford University. The blackly comic stories collected in The Quantity Theory of Insanity (1991) offered a bizarre vision of contemporary life. Cock & Bull (1992) consisted of two linked novellas, both dealing with sexual transformation and the concomitant blurring of identity. In his novel My Idea of Fun (1993) the narrator, Ian Wharton, aided by his eidetic memory and apparently at the instigation of his unscrupulous alter ego, ‘The Fat Controller’, is able to visualize himself engaged in various violent and immoral acts. Grey Area (1994) is another collection of short stories. Perhaps inevitably, Self's writing has been compared to that of M. Amis—who admires Self's work—both in its concerns, which are frequently grotesque, and in the comic surrealism of its style. Junk Mail (1995) is a collection of journalism.