Picador will publish American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis’ first non-fiction book, White, featuring “fearless and forthright views about what the hell is going on in the world right now”, in May of next year.
It is Ellis' first book for eight years and will be accompanied by a major publicity tour including the UK on publication. White offers “both an incendiary polemic about this young century’s failings and a behind-the-scenes look at the life of one of the world’s most infamous writers,” according to Picador. “Passionate, irreverent and frequently hilarious, this freewheeling book is a blast of fresh air in a time of stale and stifled conversation.”
UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Picador publisher Paul Baggaley and Kris Doyle, senior commissioning editor, from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown on behalf of Amanda Urban at ICM.
White is the author's first new book since 2010’s Imperial Bedrooms, and the deal announcement comes 25 years after the publication of American Psycho. Ellis' debut, Less Than Zero, catapulted him into the limelight in 1985 when he was only 21.
“In recent years, his candour and gallows humour on both Twitter and his podcast have continued his legacy as someone determined to speak the truth, however painful it might be, and whom people accordingly either love or love to hate,” Picador said.
In the new book, the author "puts himself and his opinions on the page: eviscerating the perceived good of the social-media age, the cult of likeability and the reputation economy; denouncing censorship and defending freedom of speech; and explaining how growing up as a nihilistic Gen Xer made him who he is today.”
Doyle said: “Bret pulls no punches, no subject is off limits: his teen crush on Richard Gere, the truth about Patrick Bateman, why 'Moonlight' shouldn’t have won the Oscar, that Twitter storm about Kathryn Bigelow – it’s all here.
“White is everything Bret’s fans could hope for. But because he’s always understood the zeitgeist better than anyone else, I know this book will get everybody talking and win him lots of new readers too. One thing’s for sure: this publication will be impossible to ignore.”
The author described the book as “a lament from a disillusioned Gen X-er,” in an interview with the TLS magazine. In the same piece he revealed he had turned away from writing fiction after his last “fully-fledged novel”, Glamorama, failed to break even for his US publisher Knopf. “No one really talks about novels anymore,” he told the TLS.