Scott Pack has announced his latest acquisition for Aardvark Bureau. Self & I (May 2016) is a memoir by Will Self’s former personal assistant, novelist Matthew De Abaitua.
De Abaitua spent six months in the early 1990s living and working with Self in his remote Suffolk cottage as his amanuensis. Pack said: “This is a remarkable insight into two fascinating writers: Self as his career was just taking off and De Abaitua before his had really started. Self is aware of [the book] but will not be endorsing it. It is frequently hilarious, often revelatory and always hugely readable.” The book will be published as a deluxe paperback. Pack signed UK and Commonwealth rights from Sarah Such of the Sarah Such Literary Agency.
De Abaitua worked for Self after graduating from the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA. His first novel, The Red Men, was published in 2007 by Snowbooks and was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. The book is still available in paperback from Snow Books, with a digital version published by Gollancz. Angry Robot is publishing two science-fiction novels by De Abaitua: If Then (in September 2015) and The Destructives (in 2016); Penguin published The Art of Camping, his non-fiction title about camping, in 2012. He is currently a creative writing lecturer at Brunel University and the University of Essex.
De Abaitua said: “I am delighted that Aardvark Bureau is publishing Self & I and brimful with innovative ideas on how to bring this story to a wide audience. It’s not a gossipy book, it’s not a biography, it’s a true comic story of a great writer and his wide-eyed apprentice.”