My small collection of pornographic fairy tales is published today.
It's cheap & there's lots of sex in it.
Ellie Broughton of The Erotic Review says: "like The Bloody Chamber after a couple of gins... swollen with surreal eroticism and a weird, lavish imagination."
Julian Gough: "Joanna Walsh is one of the funniest, most subversive writers out there. "Grow A Pair" rocks... Grow a Pair has the delicious, deadpan lunacy of some prime JG Ballard, but sexier & funnier... I attended the launch. One of the funniest readings I've ever been at."
Naomi Frisby of The Writes of Women: "It’s a confident collection, satisfying in terms of its links between stories as characters paths cross at different points. It’s also highly entertaining as well as being smart and thoughtful."
You can buy the book at all the usual places, or order it direct from the publisher.
You can also read one of the stories for free at Berfrois.
The TLS says, of Grow A Pair's excellent publisher, Readux: Ambition aside, everything about Readux Books is small-scale. The Berlin-based publisher only came into being two years ago; since then it has brought out Just twenty books, in five series of four. The books themselves are pocket-sized ("teeny", as the website has it), no more than 10,000 words long, and "affordable: about the same amount you'd pay for a fancy cup of coffee". The publisher's intention, it seems, is to make them appear as unthreatening as possible, something you'd pick up on impulse Just as you might spend your loose change on a chocolate bar; certainly, the books themselves, decked out in gorgeous tissue-paper shades of pink, green and blue, are as tempting as confectionery. But don't be fooled: for all their pretty packaging and digestible dimensions, these are serious books: attentive, cerebral and bold.
Dorothy is an extraordinary publisher; producing only two books a year, it punches far above its weight, consistently championing exciting and innovative new writing. I'd like to give many thanks to Danielle Dutton and Martin Riker, who run the press, and who are both brilliant.
Vertigo: starred review at Kirkus: "sentences that can make your heart stop. A feat of language".
Flavorwire 50 best Independent Books of 2015: "One of the English-language debuts of the year."
LA Times: "Renata Adler's "Speedboat" with a faster engine... "Vertigo" reads with the exhilarating speed and concentrated force of a poetry collection. Each word seems carefully weighed and prodded for sound, taste, touch... The stories are delicate, but they leave a strong impression, a lasting sense of detachment colliding with feeling, a heady destabilization."
The Believer's Best Books of 2015: "Supple, floating stories that unfold like memories almost too painful to recall in an affectless voice that can be digressive or disarmingly direct but which is ultimately devastating."
Electric Lit: "The stories in Walsh’s Vertigo are equally strange and edgy. She’s a flâneur who’s just as capable of representing the exterior and interior wreckage with equal precision. She takes on big ideas—partnership, loneliness, femininity, etc.—through the vibrant minutiae of contemporary experience."
Flavourwire's 33 Must-read books: "Walsh’s Vertigo may redistribute the possibilities of contemporary fiction, especially if it meets with the wider audience her work demands."
Vol. 1 Brooklyn: "Do you like your fiction difficult to pin down and stunningly written?"
Darcie Dennigan at The Rumpus: "It feels so good to see Walsh jam open the lexicon—and with such dry wit."
Chicago Tribune: " the stories in "Vertigo" inject new life into the short-story form. Walsh takes language to liminal spaces, describing reality — or, more profoundly, what we perceive to be our reality — in fresh ways. The effect is like zero gravity: both dizzying and dazzling."
Jeff VanderMeer's best books of 2015 at Electric Literature: "I can’t stop quoting Walsh because her sentences are so excellent, and because all of her stories are constructed solely from excellent sentences."
Flavorwire 10 Must-read books for October: "Walsh’s writing is visual, clear-eyed, a kind of mix (somehow) of Marie NDiaye and Elena Ferrante. Years from now when you’re still reading her work, you’ll remember that you started here."
“her stories reveal a psychological landscape lightly spooked by loneliness, jealousy and alienation.” New York Times
Don'tdoitmag: "Walsh is one of the most important writers today in terms of exploring the gap between the possibilities and actualities of female experience, and what it means to navigate that gap. To me she is therapeutic: heartfelt but poised, cynical but not hard."
Left-bank Books: "The stories in Vertigo are linked by speaker and can be read like a novel, but each stands alone as an example of just how many boundaries the short form can push in a few pages... A mind-blowing must-read."
I'm delighted to say that Hotel is published in the US today.
Many, many thanks to Bloomsbury's excellent editors, designers, publicists, production department, indexers & those people with the spreadsheets. Also, personal thanks to Lauren Elkin, Deborah Levy, Sharon Kivland, Lisa Appignanesi, Isabella Streffen, Toby Ferris, Tristan Burke, Richard Barnett, Olivia Laing, & Brian Dillon.
Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick: "It's a knock out. Completely engaging, juicy and dry - such a great book."
RM220: "Hotel is successful because at first you think you’re going to see hotels in a new way, but then you also see home, and then marriage, in new ways. That surprising twist—where shining light on one thing illuminates another—is excellent."
Darcie Dennigan at The Rumpus: "there’s more linguistic play in here, more aphorisms you want to copy onto a postcard and send to your unhappiest smart friend."
The Paris Review on Hotel:"a slim, sharp meditation on hotels and desire."
The Literary Hub: "shifts from the deeply personal to the abstract and intellectual and back again... compelling, impressive."
The New Statesman: "It is elliptical and associative, moving like quicksilver from one thing to the next... This is bold, risky writing, but Walsh is deft with fluidity...I loved Hotel and would read it again for the pleasure of its playful linguistic slips (not all of them Freudian) and jokes."
Hellogiggles: "a gorgeously jolty narrative you’ll quickly eat right up".
Glasgow Review of Books: "Alongside the intelligent analysis and playful structure, Joanna Walsh captures something innately surreal and peculiar about hotels."
Barnes and Noble: "At its center is the idea of what makes something — or someone — a home."
Publisher's Weekly on Hotel: "A strange, probing book all the more affecting for eschewing easy resolution."
Simon Savidge,Savidgereads: "It is bonkers, yet somehow it works."
Sofia Samatar: " I feel like you're doing something important with these pieces: loneliness, gathering places, reflective surfaces, the work of shining."
Dontdoitmag: "itineracy, spaciality, and depression... lapidary."
Minor Literatures: "One of the singular joys in Walsh’s prose is how she questions and twists language systems until familiar words and expressions become uncanny, portals to a stranger world."
LA Review of Books: "Ultimately the lesson resides in this combination of intimacy and distance, of narrative lack and narrative fantasy, as constituted by the hotel."
Mask Magazine: "There is rigor in this book-length conversation among herself, philosophers, writers, actors, and directors, but there is also wonder. Reading Walsh has a certain child’s pleasure of being let loose in a new terrain to press buttons, open room doors, and dig through cabinet drawers without supervision."
I'll add more press as it arrives... If you'd like to review the book, please email me and I'll put you in touch with Bloomsbury for a review copy (hit the 'About' button at the top of right sidebar for my email address).
Hotel will be published in the UK on 5th November.
On 8th December I'll be reading from Hotel and talking with Deborah Levy about the book, and about her writing, at The Freud Museum in London. Info here - please come.
I'll post info about other readings etc, very soon.
Like most people I'd like to contribute something to help the refugees and migrants currently entering Europe.
If you're interested in helping me fund the work of Medecins Sans Frontieres in the Mediterranean, you might like to do it via me. For £50 - a whole WHOLE lot less than I'd usually charge, I'll draw a portrait from your (or your loved one's/dog's/favourite author/whatever's) photo.
I'm ok at portraits: here's my most recent, a drawing of Juliet Jacques for the cover of her forthcoming book, TRANS, A Memoir, published by Verso.
I only have plans to offer one portrait commission right now, so if you'd like me to do this, please email me as soon as possible at badaude at gmail dot com. Your drawing will be around a4 size. You will get the original artwork (I'll add a small charge for postage, according to where you live), plus a jpg file and full rights to use the artwork as your online avatar, book cover, business card whatever... All money received (except postage) will go directly to Medecins Sans Frontieres.