Eye Books to publish Self & I

Eye Books is to publish Self & I – A Memoir of Literary Ambition, Matthew De Abaitua’s account of his time as novelist Will Self’s amanuensis during the 1990s.

Self & I charts Matthew De Abaitua’s experience living and working as Will Self’s assistant in a remote cottage in Suffolk in the 1990s. Self is a newly-divorced enfant terrible of the British literary scene. De Abaitua is an eager young writer keen to learn from one of his literary heroes. The memoir is a frank and often very funny account of a remarkable time in Britain and British literature.

Editor-at-large Scott Pack acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding serial and audiobook) from Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency.

Matthew De Abaitua says: “In 1994, I worked as Will Self’s amanuensis for six months in a remote Suffolk cottage. The experience changed me utterly. Self & I is a memoir about the urgent desire to be a writer, part-Withnail And I, part-Love, Nina, set in literature’s last hours before the age of the internet. It was vital that I worked with a smart editor like Scott Pack who understood what the book is and isn’t about, and it’s exciting to be part of a new venture for Eye Books.”

Scott Pack says: “This is such an important book in so many ways. Not only does it give us a glimpse behind the scenes at the early career of one of our true literary stars, but it also marks the end of an era in the publishing world. The net book agreement had just started to collapse, the internet had yet to take hold, and old school methods of publishing and retailing were still the norm. Everything changed, and not all for the better, shortly after the events of this book. It also happens to be a wonderful, funny and thought-provoking memoir.”

Self & I will be published in hardback in March 2018 followed by a paperback edition in October.

Matthew De Abaitua was born in Liverpool in 1971. He is the author of three novels, The Red Men, shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, If Then and The Destructives (Angry Robot Books). His non-fiction book The Art of Camping: The History and Practice of Sleeping Under the Stars (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin) was much acclaimed and one of The Economist’s Books of the Year. A movie adaptation of The Red Men is currently in development with Warp Films and Shynola Films, and the novel is due to be published in the US for the first time in November 2017.

The author will be appearing at a number of UK festivals throughout the year. For further information about translation and film/TV rights, contact info@sarah-such.com.

Published on
October 13, 2017