Toby Litt is the author of the alphabetically arranged Adventures in Capitalism, Beatniks, Corpsing, deadkidsongs, Exhibitionism, Finding Myself, Ghost Story, Hospital, I Play the Drums in a Band Called okay and Journey into Space. In 2003, he was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. He was the winner of the 2009 Manchester Fiction Prize. He is a regular on Radio 3’s The Verb. You can visit Toby Litt's own website at www.tobylitt.com.
A film adaptation of King Death, co-written by Toby Litt, is being produced by Alexandra Stone (Young Adam, Kidulthood). It will be directed and co-written by Gerald McMorrow (Franklyn).
Author photo © Jerry Bauer
Modern, hard-hitting and compelling work from an award-winning novelist. Characters so real you feel they are actually talking to you and a situation bizarre yet strangely believable. Who knows what strange and secret happenings go unwitnessed beneath the cracks of London every day? But on this day an act was witnessed, a human heart falling onto a glass roof. This poetic and improbable start sets off a chain of dominoes masterfully crafted. Toby Litt is a real talent and I can’t wait for his next offering. Comparison: Ian McEwan, Jake Arnott, China Mieville (The City and the City).
Toby Litt is one of that rare breed of fiction writers who never writes the same book twice: every time out, he takes an unexpected new tack and his readers happily follow. Told in the form of the pithy, even lyrical advice a young soldier leaves behind after a mission gone wrong, Notes for a Young Gentleman is no exception. Its brilliantly creative form, and the epigrammatic genius Litt displays in its creation, nonetheless can't hide the powerful, emotional story at its heart: of a young soldier parachuting toward a beautiful, moonlit country house on a mission ...of betrayal. The house? Marlborough. The target? Winston Churchill, an old friend of his father. A brilliant, at times dizzying but always heartfelt exploration of love, revenge, and the essence of a gentleman, Notes for a Young Gentleman is classic Toby Litt: wholly new and wholly unforgettable.
Emotionally compelling and formally innovative, Life-Like is Toby Litt's most ambitious collection of short stories to date, bringing to fruition themes begun in his previous books, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. Life-Like is a book about our globalizing and atomizing world - with stories set in India, Sweden, Australia, and Iran - that also looks at how we meet and fail to meet and what connects us to one another, as well as waste and communication, and, in turn, communication through waste. The twenty-six stories begin with Paddy and Agatha, an English couple last seen in Litt's Ghost Story. Following the stillbirth of their second child, their marriage has gently begun to collapse. Paddy and Agatha both meet someone else. First, Paddy meets Kavita, and Agatha meets John. Then, each of these four engages with a different new person - and so on, through a doubling and redoubling of intimately interconnected stories. The remaining short stories exemplify Litt's impressive, unflinching prose.
When Agatha and Paddy decide to leave London and buy a house on the coast, they are full of hope for themselves and their growing family - baby Max and a new child on the way. Three months later, when the builders move out and they move in, things look very different. A personal tragedy threatens to destroy all they have carefully built up and only a small miracle, it seems, will save them. . . Ghost Story is a book both haunted and haunting, which asks how we can ever mourn something that hasn't lived. Emotionally resonant, beautifully crafted and ultimately redemptive, it will take you to the heart of suffering and desire.