For half a century Audrey Death has been in a state of semi-consciousness. Severed from the world of the living after falling victim to Encephalitis lethargica, she has languished in Friern Barnet Mental Hospital. Then, in 1971, maverick psychiatrist Dr Zack Busner arrives.
Audrey’s experiences of a bygone Edwardian London: her socialist lover, her involvement with the Suffragists, and her work in a munitions factory during the First World War, alternate with Dr Busner’s attempts to bring her back to life with a new and powerful drug. His investigations lead to revelations that are both shocking and tragic, and which will return to haunt him decades later.
About the Author
Will Self is the author of The Quantity Theory of Insanity, winner of the 1993 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, Grey Area, Cock & Bull, My Idea of Fun, The Sweet Smell of Psychosis, Great Apes, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys, Dorian, How the Dead Live, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2002, and The Book of Dave. Umbrella was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2012. He lives in London. =ibrarian’s Comments
In one way this novel is a homage to Joyce’s Ulysses. This is not fast-food for your mind. We jump from person to person and in time, the perspective changes. Self puts a novel costume on his ideas on psycho geography.