Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will Self and Martin Amis on appearing in their own books
Adam Thirlwell, Will Self and Martin Amis discuss fictional characters bearing their authors' names

Claire Armitstead and Sarah Crown, Friday 24 September 2010
In this week's podcast we're looking at the place of the self in fiction.

We put the appropriately named Will Self on the couch and ask some probing questions about his habit of inserting himself into his writing. We hear what Kingsley Amis did when his son, Martin, played around with the idea back in the 1980s. And we enlist the novelist Adam Thirlwell to track a distinguished tradition that goes all the way back to Rabelais and Laurence Sterne. Finally, we ask why so few women appear to have referenced themselves in their work - and if you've anything to say on that subject, join the discussion on the blog, here.

We have also included readings from a number of novels in which the authors introduce themselves by name at the beginning of the podcast. We have five "selfish" books to give away to people who correctly name all the books, and their authors, excerpted in the podcast: email your answers to, putting "Self in Books" in the subject field, by midnight on Friday 8, October 2010. We will print the winners' names on this page on October 15.

Reading list:
Walking to Hollywood by Will Self (Bloomsbury)
Politics by Adam Thirlwell (Vintage)

View the podcast at The Guardian.

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