The Book of Hygge review- can the Danes actually teach us how to live?

This book, by Louisa Thomsen Brits, is one of many titles on hygge and the Danish route of living. But hygge has a dark side what if the price of cosiness isnt worth paying?

Hygge voices from the outside like a meme to allow hipsters to grow old: a Danish mode of being, it has no single, literal translation, which is only to be expected, as it is the source of the Danes singular happiness and could only be a wraparound concept. Its baldest definition is cosiness, but that expands, according to The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits, to covering a feeling of belonging and warmth, a few moments of convenience and contentment.

Thomsen Brits, in a self-described beautiful little book, which reliably delivers small pages and an unbelievably large typeface, lists some of the things that give us a feeling of hygge; We hygger with an R it becomes an intransitive verb first thing in the morning when we illuminated a candle at our breakfast table. No, truly, though: who does that? And by lighting fires almost every day. It is a practice as old as sitting around a flame or sharing food with a friend. Hygge practises are, broadly, things that we do that our ancestors would recognise; besides illuminating fires, eating, drinking, eating cake and drinking things that are hot.

It is not a new thought that activities bring pleasure in inverse proportion to how recently they were invented( Facebook; the cello; reading; keeping a puppy as a pet; constructing bread; having sex ). Yet there is certainly a Danish specificity in the prominence of pyromania, and principles crop up repeatedly that are highly specific to the Scandinavian climate. Proverbs swirl: We have a saying in Denmark that there is no truly bad weather, just bad clothes, Helen Russell associates, in her unexpectedly winsome memoir, The Year of Living Danishly ( Icon, 8.99 ). Blankets play a huge role. In heavily pictorial volumes, still lives of slippers are a mainstay.

The valorisation of the cold is maybe the most distinctive feature of the region, and surely the least exportable. It reminded me of an exchange I overheard in the Arctic Circle, between a Swedish sled driver and a travel journalist from the Daily Telegraph. The hack was moaning like some southern cissy because his contact lenses had frozen on to his eyeballs, and Sven said: At least you can protect yourself from the cold. How do you protect yourself from the hot? With factor 15, blind people man responded, and a pina colada. You cant concoct a love of the hearth without a chill wind. If you stay in with the curtains described and a hot chocolate on a warm day, thats not hygge, thats depression.

Almost as a throwaway, Thomsen Brits mentions elements of Danish life that induce them happy yet would go by the more pedestrian name of social infrastructure: Denmarks high standard of living, decent health care, gender equality, accessible education and equitable distribution of wealth all contribute to the measurable happiness of the Danish people. But thats not hygge; your ancestors would not recognise those things, and the sense of belonging is deeper, and stems from immaterial things.

It has three themes, again according to Thomsen Brits interiority, contrast and atmosphere and it doesnt assistance if you dont know what they mean. OK, interiority, since you ask is a perception of being a discrete, bounded presence that exists in relation to others, to place and to the passage of time Mind, home and country are the interiorities of hygge. Nope, still nothing. Its possible that to understand that kind of thing, you need to be someone who gets it before it is said.

One of the most data-rich of the recent richnes of Dane-books, The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking( Penguin Life, 9.99 ), is the one that gets fastest to the dark side of hygge: Danes are not good at inviting new people into their friendship circles. In component, this is due to the concept of hygge; it would be considered less hyggeligt if there were too many new people at an event. So get into a new circle requires a lot of endeavour and a lot of loneliness on the way.

Russell is more blunt on this point, and describes arriving in January, and wandering through streets, shops that are either closed or empty and homes that look unoccupied save for the dim glint of candlelight burning from within. It is spring before anybody talks to her. Danes prefer to gather in limited numbers rather than in large, expansive groups, to emphasise the unity of their small circles, Thomsen Brits writes, concluding the centripetal force of mutuality, warmth and exuberance is sometimes intimidating and impenetrable. Feeling excluded from a group is uncomfortable. Feeling trapped inside one is equally disquieting. There is the downside that the Danish style of socialising could be considered exclusive.

Is
Is there more to hygge than only having a beaker of coffee with a friend? Photograph: Leonardo Patrizi/ Getty Images

Or homogenous, stultifying, bland: books on hygge often include recipes, and there could be no more solid iteration of this tension, that comfort is a hairs breadth away from boredom. Flour, fat, sugar, jam, more sugar, cinnamon if youre lucky: Danes consume twice as many sweets as the average European, and it must be down to some internal hygge energy that they arent fat. Or maybe it is because they are tall.

The origins of hygge lie in the implosion of Danish imperialist ambitions in the 19 th century, given a positive spin by the philosopher NFS Grundtvig, who was contended that the nations outward grandeur was less important that the wellbeing of its people, extrapolating from there a very tight culture of nationhood, Norse lore, folk sing, simplicity and cheerfulness. It is laudable from some angles but very narrow from others, and it brings with it the dispiriting implication that such solid and exemplary egalitarianism is attained possible by a rigidly demarcated in-group.

Even the most inspiring express of modesty and egalitarianism such as the note, in The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl( Piatkus, 10.99 ), that this value of meeknes is knowing who you are so well that you dont need others to attain you feel important. Hence, they try not to overload their children with compliments lose their lustre when that fellowship is so fixed.

There is a contradiction, too, in the notion of hyggeas a design notion elegant interiors, artful draperies, beauty in the domestic realm set against the insistence that it is about simplicity, the calm of aspiration, the respect for predictability and ordinariness, the abnegation of status in favour of togetherness. The Khler vase scandal, described by Wiking, occurred when 16,000 Danes tried to buy a limited edition piece of tableware on the same day, crashing the website. Queues formed outside the shop with the outrage of a breadline. This induces no sense as a worldview: you can either separate significance from trivia, or you cant; live contentedly on love and carbohydrates, or hanker after distinction and novelty; expend your time with the ones who matter, or wait outside a shop.

There is a contradiction at the core of all human yearn, of course: that everyone is simultaneously want safety and adventure, equality and status, intimacy and exhilaration, woodsmoke and fresh air. Yet to enunciate an ethos in which those conflicts are not simply unresolved, but wafted away with a scented candle, seems slippery and opaque, a set of rules in which every pillar could just as well be turned on its head.

The Book of Hygge is published by Ebury. To order a transcript for 10.65( RRP 12.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over 10, online orders merely. Phone orders min p& p of 1.99.

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Lena Dunham’s surprise book sells out in 24 hours

Is It Evil Not to Be Sure? is a collection of her journal entries from a decade ago, and will raise money for the nonprofit group Girls Write Now

A astonish new book by Lena Dunham, collecting her periodicals from ten years ago, has sold out less than 24 hours after the writer announces that it release.

Dunhams 56 -page chapbook, Is It Evil Not to Be Sure? was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon. Priced at $25( 17 ), with proceeds going to the mentoring program Girls Write Now, its signed, 2,000 -copy first print running had sold out by Wednesday morning, although it is still available as an ebook in the US. Fourth Estate, which released Dunhams bestselling memoir Not That Kind of Girl in the UK, said that as yet it had no plans to publish the new book.

Dunham explained on her website Lenny that she had procured the diaries from 2005 and 2006 on an old hard drive earlier this year. She had been in bed after surgery, she told, and was feeling painfully adult.

I was, of course, full of the kind of mortification that is part and parcel with fulfilling a former version of yourself, a woefully misguided daughter desperate to be embraced by even the least exemplary specimen of young American malehood, wrote Dunham. But I was also moved by maybe even proud of how carefully I had recorded that period of day, my younger selfs commitment to capturing different types of hyper-internal formative moments so often lost to adulthood.

The writer and performer said she had always believed that girls chronicling their own lives, even( or especially) at their most mundane, is a radical act, and so decided to share the diaries as a short volume, to benefit Girls Write Now. I cant think of a more admirable objective for an organisation, or a better reason to expose the oft troubling supposed patterns of my final teenage year, said the author.

It was announced in April that Dunham would be teaming up with publisher Random House to launch her own publishing imprint, Lenny, in 2017. Lenny will publish fiction and non-fiction titles selected by Dunham and Jenni Konner, co-creator of the website Lenny, which covers feminism, style, health, politics, relationship and everything else.

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Caitlin Moran:’ Were I not a novelist, I’d have the peachy, zingy buttocks of Gigi Hadid’

The author on writing for money, painful posture and having novelists block simply the once

As with all novelists, I read a great deal about the craft of writing. Not because I want to learn from other writers its simply because its the most virtuous and inarguable route of procrastinating. I CANT POSSIBLY WRITE A HUMOROUS Chapter ABOUT MASTURBATION UNTIL IVE READ ALL OF STEPHEN KINGS ON WRITING, OK?

And while I have gained a great many insights, the major problem with text on writing is that they never talk about your arse. And thats the biggest problem for novelists the constant, growling pain in your arse. You are hunched over your keyboard for upwards of seven hours a day, compacting your lower spine, and essentially murdering your arse with a chair. Were I not a novelist, Id like to think Id have the peachy, zingy buttocks of Gigi Hadid. After 28 years on the Mac, however, it looks like the avalanche that chases Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. If my arse caught up with Roger, it would kill him.

And all novelists are like this. Ive fulfilled them. Were distorted to fit around a keyboard. Our posture is violated. By their mid-4 0s, most novelists are in the shape of an ampersand.

I guess Im centring on the physical aspects of writing, because for me, thats the hard bit. Ive never struggled to write Ive only had writers block for 20 minutes, once. Then I had a cup of tea, and it is away. Plainly Id like to put this down to being the most brilliant and explosive mind of my generation but I think its simply that I have always had a lot of deadlines. I started writing for money at the age of 13, and Bitch gotta build rent is the remedy for any existential wobbles about how to express yourself. If youre turning over a minimum of 10,000 terms a week the coming week, working on my new novel, I did 10,000 words IN TWO DAYS then your conscious intellect generally gets out of the way, and you plug straight into your unconscious, instead. For me, the two have now presumed the characteristics of Jeeves and Wooster.

Wooster/ Conscious mind: CRIPES! ANOTHER SCRAPE! It seems I need to write a new book in less than four months!

Jeeves/ Unconscious intellect: Dont worry about that, sir. Its all in hand. Ive assembled all the disconnected believes youve had about this over the last few years, set them in the correct order, and come up with a pleasingly unexpected opening chapter. All that remains for you to do is smash up your arse for another seven hours by sitting on a chair, typing it out as I dictate, from now until summertime. I have, of course, scheduled an hour of dicking around on Twitter at 2pm, every day, as usual.

In November, I eventually invested in an office/ shed at the lower end of the garden, which is where I now spend the majority of members of my day. Before, I used to work on the patio, because of the smoking. Human, I have sat out there in some grim climates. Wrapped around in a junk-shop fur coat, in the snow, like some soon-to-be-murdered Stark in Game of Thrones, losing all sensation in my face as I finished How to Be a Woman. But, then again, gradually being covered in snow is a great style to attain you crack on with penning. Its like God is trying to turn you into a blank page, in some fabulous meteorological metaphor.

These days, with the luxury of my shed, I get up at the same time as the children, do an hour of Please Let My Arse Feel Normal Again yoga, get to my desk by 9.30 am, and then make sure that, unless its an emergency, Im pressing Send or Save by the time they come back from school, at 4.30 pm. After a long day of work, its great to give my arse a break by strolling from the bottom of the garden to the front room, and then sitting on the sofa until 10 pm. Please dont let my arse see this piece. Im fretted it will realise its in an abusive relationship, and leave me.

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran is published by Ebury.

Interview with a Bookstore: Housing Works Bookstore in New York

They sell books, but they also provide care for thousands of homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/ AIDS. Welcome to the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the US and a fantastic bookstore

Housing Works Bookstore Cafes opening is a bit of a mystery, but lets say it opened, in our beloved Crosby Street location, in 1996. But the history of the bookstore goes back to the history of Housing Works, Inc, which was founded in 1993 by Charles King and Keith Cylar and other members of the groundbreaking AIDS activist group ACT UP. It was simple: if you had AIDS and you had no place to live, it was impossible to receive the lifesaving care that you needed. Today we are the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the country. We provide housing, primary care, job training, and legal help, to more than 20 K homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/ AIDS.

As the tale goes, in 1993, an angel investor approached Housing Works with a proposal: an investment in a second hand store of designer goods, stylishly presented and frequently rotated, sold at not rock-bottom but irresistible-bargain prices. The thrift shop swiftly opened and exceeding its three month fiscal objectives within the first weeks.

The key reason that Housing Works has always been a leader in delivering necessary and cutting-edge services, such as needle exchanges and much of our work for NYCs homeless population, is that we do not rely exclusively on outside fund from government and other sources. This work is part of “whats called” Social Enterprise and it is part of our core mission.

Social enterprise is the key to the bookstore in every route: Housing Works decided in 1996 that a perfect offshoot would be a use bookstore& cafe the intersection of books and food being a wonderful style to engage with the community. Not only is Housing Works supporting its lifesaving services and relentless advocacy by selling great second-hand goods now were a place where you can come and hang out, read a book, drink a coffee or a beer or feed a delicious pastry.

Overtime, due to the hustle of our board members and volunteers, the community space of our bookstore caf became a significant culture institution. We now present public programming most weeknights, bring back hundreds of New Yorkers into our space to educate them about our mission and share great books and culture with them. And to show them a really great time. On the weekends, the place gets dressed up by real nice for bridals and private functions, another key part of our community efforts and fundraising, which are conducted by our award-winning in-house catering company, The Works.

Molly Rose Quinn,( Director of Public Programming)

housing-works-event housing-works-event Photograph: Courtesy of Housing Works Bookstore

Whats your favorite section of the store?

Merril Speck( Store Manager ): Graphic novels.

Rebecca Shaughnessy( Bookseller& Cafe Staff ): I read mostly fiction, so thats my immediate answer; but one of my favorite things to do is browse the smaller sections that arent as popular, like math, surrounding/ wildlife, or health. Theyre full of concealed gem! I lately find a volume on country medication and remedies: did you know the simplest way to get rid of a blister is to have a snail crawl over it?

Tom Morris( Bookseller ): Art! When I started volunteering I had no vague notion that my background in art( especially modern and contemporary art) would be particularly useful. But within a few weeks I realized that not everyone knows about that stuff in the same style that I know little or nothing about areas where many staff and volunteers have amazing knowledge and absolutely brilliant insights. The Bookstore benefits enormously from New Yorks art community when it comes to donations , not to mention that our clients include artists, collectors, educators, and curators.

Brent MacKenzie( Bookseller ): My favorite section in the store is the graphic novel segment. We get some great titles donated and always have a great selection. Im always observing things I never knew about, hard to find and out of publish books.

Meagan Kavouras( Bookseller ): My favorite segment of the store, the section I always check before I leave the store, is the proofs wall. We have a group of clients we refer to as the proofies because they come in daily to scour that wall. I like it because its the best way to find upcoming debut novels from young female writers. The proofies usually skip those in favor of the Ishiguros and Morrisons. On the flipside, I love our fifty cent cart because its the best style to read the classics on the cheap.

Rebecca Merrill( Bookseller ): I read principally non-fiction and the memoir segment is mine to curate, but thats not the reason I love it. Over the past century, memoir has changed so much as a genre and the donation-based nature of our store entails the section reflects it. Not only do we sell new releases( Between the World and Me ), recent classics( Just Kids ), classic-classics( The Autobiography of Mark Twain) but harder to find quirky editions, too. Right now, we have an advanced readers copy of 1976 s A Loving Gentleman by Meta Carpenter Wilde about her love affair with William Faulkner.

housing-works-interior Over the past century, memoir has changed so much as a genre and the donation-based nature of our store entails the section reflects it. Photograph: Politenes of Housing Works Bookstore

If you had infinite space what would you add?

Rebecca: If I had infinite space in the bookstore( and no NYC health code ), I would add cats and lounges !! My favorite place to read is on my sofa with my cats, so Im just assuming everyone else would love that too. And Im right, arent I?

What do you do better than any other bookstore?

Molly: I think we bringing new meaning and new life to the idea of a bookstore being a community space. When we get to do concerts and slapstick depicts and such, some of those folks never even going to see bookstores, but we enticement them in with nightlife and beer. And on the other side of that, we have many regulars, used book and vinyl collectors, longtime neighbors, and also Housing Works clients who hang in our space during the daytime, many of them dont even know we hold events in the evening. And my favorite thing is spying on some of my favorite writers when they come to write in the cafe during the day. Also, our cafe attains something called MENSTRUATION BROWNIES.

Whos your favorite regular?

Tom: I cant pick only one. Theres a married couple; the spouse is an artist and art teacher; the husband, a retired carpenter, is severely into US History. Hes written and produced a play based on the late-in-life correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams that has been performed at various New York Public Library branches. Another client owns an art gallery on Bleecker Street and also lives nearby. Weve had many enjoyable dialogues about the art world. She also collects LP records, and some of her LP buys have piqued my own interest in some classical and jazz records that Ive attempted out and acquired.

Brent: Over my past year and a half of volunteering a man named Everett would come in almost every Tuesday. He is always exceedingly kind and is just a great guy. He has been selling volumes in New York for years so we would have conversations about different trends in volumes and reading and I always enjoy ensure him.

Meagan: Theres a man named Peter who lives in the neighborhood and comes in every Tuesday. In his past lives he was a sailor, a musician, and god knows what else, but hes currently a poet and motorcycle fanatic who, as far as I can tell, only walkings around the neighborhood spreading good cheer. Peter comes into the store and talks with me about poetry because I have to take the damn English GRE soon, and I know nothing about verse. Hes helping me learn.

Whats the craziest situation youve ever had to deal with in the store?

Molly: A few hours over the years weve done two events in a single night last month we had Kate Beaton appearing for her new book, which is now being 300+ fans, a three hour long signing line, followed by a sold-out, pop up concert by Glen Hansard. Kates fans were waiting in line to meet her all the way through the bands soundcheck, up until the doors opened, which was shortly before midnight. They played until 2am. Kate and Glen are now friends.

housing-works-interior-2 If I had infinite space in the bookstore( and no NYC health code ), I would add cats and sofas! Photo: Courtesy of Housing Works Bookstore

Whats your earliest memory about visiting a bookstore as small children?

Tom: I grew up on the far northwest side of Chicago. Our street was the bordered on an unincorporated suburbium. No public library within a couple of miles, and no bookstores at all. Beginning around age 10, whenever our family piled in the car and went downtown, I started noticing bookstores, galleries, museums, and theaters. Lots of them, some of them huge. At some phase it dawned on me: “Thats what” I want to be around all the time.

If you werent operating a bookstore, what would you be doing?

Merril: I would want to be the bassist in an indie boulder band circa the 1980 s( Essentially I want to be Peter Hook from Joy Division and New Order ).

Whats been the biggest astound about working in a bookstore?

Rebecca: The biggest astonish about working in this bookstore is( honestly, truly, I am not just saying this) how nice our clients are. Ive heard so many horror narratives from people working in retail that I merely cannot be attributed to. I believe when customers come to this store, they feel good about buying books knowing that the buy supports a great cause. In buying books, they join our community and that creates a culture of a bunch of people who are about to become friends rather than one of a traditional service industry.

Molly: Social enterprise is a keyword at Housing Works, but I also think it is a key principle in New York City and has been a large part of my personal experience working with publishing, bookstores, writers, comedians, musicians, and other artists in NYC. When I try to explain my job to my friends and family in other cities, it is a very long run-on sentence. I get to plan, create, and publicize wildly popular and culturally relevant programs at a beloved NYC institution in order to spread awareness and raise funds for our efforts to end AIDS as an epidemic in New York by 2020. I fill my life and my work with volumes because I believe that literature touches everything and everything touches it. And Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is a perfect example of that.

The Staff Shelf

What are Housing Workss booksellers reading?

teeth The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli( 2015 ). Molly( director of public programming) recommends: Read Valeria Luiselli is a bit like strolling through a beautiful, charming, exploding use bookstore. I find myself scratching down on bits of paper the millions of volumes, poems, philosophers, artists, and unknown tidbits of the world that she folds into her narrations. This book is almost impossible to describe, so I wont try. Just read it?
Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis( 2015 ). Molly( director of public programming) recommends: What occurs inside Robin Coste Lewis Voyage of the Sable Venus is demolition, excavation, grandeur, heart. This volume, which lifts devastating words from historical and art archives, argues for living even at its most annihilating moments.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel( 2014 ). Merril( store administrator) recommends: A beautifully conceived, post-apocalypse story that follows a small group of characters in the years following a global pandemic. Mandels gift is to see the innate goodness in humanity, forgoing a Mad Max-style horror show for something more delicate and hopeful. Like the great film directors Robert Altman and Paul Thomas Anderson, Mandel works with a large canvas, ingeniously weaving character arc that tease out surprising connects among the survivors. Wonderful Wonderful Times by Elfriede Jelinek( 1990 ). Rebecca( bookseller) recommends: I just finished reading Wonderful Wonderful Times by Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, and was totally preoccupied the whole way through. The story focuses on four adolescents in Vienna who have no respect for authority and perpetrate violent crimes just because they can. Read it for the write: harsh, direct, and dark, graceful and lyrical.

Lisa Hanawalt: BoJack cartoonist gets personal in Hot Dog Taste Test

The illustrators new book of comics, like BoJack Horseman, balances the somber and the playful, mixing food experimentations with household journeys to Buenos Aires

Lisa Hanawalt was not an adventurous eater as a child. I was a disaster, the cartoonist and decorator for BoJack Horseman told me earlier this month at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. All I wanted to eat were plain mashed potatoes, and I didnt even like pasta, she said. They had to be the right texture, they couldnt be too smooth or too lumpy.

These days, her palate craves the unusual. For one of the pieces in her new collect of comics, Hot Dog Taste Test, Hanawalt shadowed the chef Wylie Dufresne at his omnivorous eatery wd~ 50, the various kinds of place that served caviar atop ice cream and foie gras pumpkin pie. Hanawalt says she doesnt cook often herself one page of Hot Dog Taste Test showings snacks shes thrown together, including a fistful of potato chips and olives but she knows that everything we feed can lead our senses to unconscious memories.

Another sequence in Hot Dog Taste Test describes a journey to Argentina, where her mom grew up, and her family of Jewish refugees passed down South American dishes that accommodated Italian techniques. Hanawalt shows gnocchi with the same bright red surrounding her great-grandparents, as they run from pogroms in Odessa to Genoa and then Buenos Aires. She visits La Recoleta, a graveyard of tombs too decadent for many descendants to afford the rent any more.

A A page from Lisa Hanawalts Hot Dog Taste Test. Photograph: Drawn& Quarterly

Hanawalts art balances the somber and the playful.

In Hot Dog Taste Test, she depicts death as a game you dread get tagged out of; she brainstorms potential headstones: GLOBAL WARMING WAS REAL, TOO MUCH FOOD( WORTH IT ). Hanawalt told me that she found the graveyard in Buenos Aires both sad and silly: There are people running around there with selfie sticks, like, narrating their journey to the graveyard. Its the kind of tone that constructed her ideal to plan out the visuals of a celebrity pony taking drugs, breaking down, and praying his ghostwriter: Please, tell me Im a good person.

Hanawalt grew up in Californiaand attended UCLA, and after spending much of her 20 s as a cartoonist in New York, she returned to work on the animated series BoJack Horseman in 2014. When its inventor Raphael Bob-Waksberg( who knew her from childhood) pitched his idea about a Hollywood filled with talking animals, starring the title character as a distantly successful Tv performer, he included draws by Hanawalt. Netflix picked up the show, and she became production designer.

She wasnt the solitary artist in a studio any more. The biggest difference, Hanawalt said, is that I have to communicate my decisions to a whole team of animators now and collaborate with them. And in the final hours Ill often be like, You guys, Im sorry, I know I preferred this font, but I really dont like it, can we change it? And sometimes I can and sometimes not.

Anthropomorphism has always been natural shorthand for cartoonists, heightening absurdities.Whether shes drawing horse-people inked with unnervingly detailed lines or a young moose fretting about her art practise( My sculptures dont even run as visual dialects or whatever the hell Im trying to do ), Hanawalts hybrids make use of the estrangement between human and animal.

Visual consistency is crucial to BoJacks themes, because his suffering maintains piercing through the rapidshow-business irony. Hell say something appalling to a friend( paid or unpaid ), eyes widening as he notices the words leaving his mouth, and you remember this character is a depressed alcoholic.

In flashbacks, BoJacks parents lurch between forget and instructive brutality. Its like watching a joke machine seize up and catch fire. Hanawalt manages to place puns, references and sight gags in nearly every shot, devoting this abrasive ecosystem some internal logic Im fond of the jukebox listing Macaque the Knife, or the equine Basquiat paintings foreshadowing BoJacks alienation from his old mentor/ showrunner Herb.

Hanawalt tells me the lack of tails in BoJack has been controversial among furries. I guess I am technically a furry, Hanawalt said, because I think about animals so much, and about what it would be like to be an animal, but its not erotic for me.

Shes sought out nature elsewhere: for another piece in the new volume, Hanawalt swam with otters at a wildlife sanctuary. You know when somethings so cute that you feel internal ache? There should be a word to describe a certain kind of horniness that isnt sexual I cant underline enough how nonsexual it is but its when something is so cute that you feel various kinds of aroused.

After moving to Los Angeles to work on BoJack, Hanawalt started riding horses again, something she hadnt done since childhood. Theres this Facebook group thats like, Bad Horse Marketings, and it just talks shit about people who sold them a shitty pony. I love reading that, she said. But I also follow horse rescue sites, and then I read the stories about the horses that got rescued and I cry.

In Hot Dog Taste Test, theres a diptych indicating what riding feels like( eyes shut, arms flung back) and riding looks like( dorky helmet, dutiful posture ). Hanawalt said that, for her, sitting on a horse feelings meditative. You cant think about that thing that happened earlier that day, or worry about the future, because you have to pay attention to what youre doing or else youll fall off Sometimes I pretend Im trying to get away from the bad guys.

Hanawalt likes to go riding at a place in Joshua Tree. The German woman who owns it once told her: You know, the pony can reek youre a carnivore. That inspired the creepiest moment of Hot Dog Taste Test, akin to earlier horror comics like Extra Egg Room. A toothy, shadowy figure rides the pony she simply bought, musing: He thinks its merely a matter of time before he becomes my next meal.

Im strapping dead animal to a live animal and then climbing on top of it, she said. And thats the thing horses are supposed to fear most, something being on its back with its claws its very weird.

I like to hope that[ with] the animals in my life, theres a reciprocal pleasure there, she added.

Hot Dog Taste Test( Drawn& Quarterly) will be available in the US on 14 June.

They say writing is cathartic, but writing about my parents dying almost killed me | Erin Vincent

Writing about her parents being killed when she was 14 forced Erin Vincent to relive the trauma for over six years. It brought her to the brink of suicide

Before writing a memoir about my parents succumbing in a road accident when I was 14 I ran around saying, So my parents succumbed, whats the big deal? I wholeheartedly believed that I had come away unscathed. When the issue of mothers came up in conversation I would say, Oh, my mothers are retired; they live up the coast. I figured I wasnt lying as they had retired, from life, and if you believe in life after death, which I do and dont, depending on the day, they were living up from the coast, all coasts.

So, how did I run from demise denier to published memoir novelist? Quite by accident.

I had just turned 30 and was starting to remember things from before my mothers accident. We hear so much about people repressing traumatic memories but we humen also tend to repress good ones if they serve to remind us of all that weve lost. So in dread of losing the memories again I started writing them down and turning them into narratives for myself. I figured that if I lost them a second day I could just go back to what I had written.

As I recalled days at the beach, my fathers weird hobbies, and my mother dancing around the house to her Neil Diamond records, I started to feel compelled to also write about what life was like after they were gone. So I steeled myself and wrote about wearing a hot pink dress to my mothers funeral. I wrote about the constant fear that my three-year-old friend would die if I took my eyes off him for just one moment when we were out in the world. I wrote about the evening of my parents accident and being told my mother was dead.

After several weeks of this it passed to me that I was writing the kind of tales I wished Id had when I was in the midst of grief and thought I was losing my intellect as I struggled to get up each day each day and going to see school, and once there, try not to run from the classroom screaming. So, on I wrote.

After reading a few of my narratives my husband suggested I write a volume. This was the epoch of Angelas Ashes and Running With Scissors and he jokingly said, Hey, when it comes to sad stories two dead mothers trumps them all. He was wrong of course but thought it would urge me on.

I resisted for a long time but then wondered if I could write a raw and honest volume about my own heartbreak that might actually be of use to some people; perhaps help them feel less alone than I did when I read grief books with cover-ups photos of lavender fields and sunsets that told me grief came in five( only five ?!) stages and that heartache was like the rain. Grief is nothing like the fucking rain, I believed. If anything, grief is like being lost at sea in a raging hurricane.

So to dispel those myths I decided to write a memoir about my experience and honestly believed I could knock it out in six months. How hard could it be? Id been a journalist writing about other people, so writing about myself, a topic I knew well, would be a cinch.

How wrong I was about the writing, and about myself.

About a year into the writing I wondered why I was so tired all the time; why after writing for an hour or two all I would want to do was sleep. I believed I was just being lazy so I pushed myself harder.

Determined to recollect as many details as possible I decided to bombard my senses. I bought Cds of the music from my childhood and items with familiar reeks such as Play Doh, my papas Old Spice, Brut, my sisters Charlie perfume, the 4711 cologne my mother used to wear, the brand of glue I being implemented in elementary school. And there I sat at my desk penning, sniffing and listening to Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, The Police, Blondie, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Neil Diamond.

Not long after this I became itchy, literally. Large red hives started appearing all over my body. Convinced I was having some kind of allergic reaction I proceeded to change soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, and I stopped reeking the perfumes and aftershaves, but nothing worked. Then came the debilitating stomach pains, diarrhoea, and puke, which led me to hospital for a colonoscopy, which found nothing. I became listless, was crying on a daily basis, my hair became limp, my nails brittle, and eventually I had trouble get out of bed. And yet , not once did I attribute any of this to what I was writing.

And then one night I decided I couldnt go on and that my husbands life would be more joyous without his sick, miserable spouse. I had it all schemed. I was going to write a note that said something along the lines of, Babe, do not enter. Just call the police. I love you. This was going to be taped to the bathroom door before I locked it, sliced my wrists and laid in a warm bath and floated away. But then I thought about heartache, something that was on my mind daily. Could I put him through that? I tried to reason with myself, But once the sorrow is run, he can live a happy life. But still grief. Could I, of all people, cause the person I loved most in the world to experience what I had? No, I couldnt. So the note was never written. Instead I set the razor away, collapsed on to our bed in a sobbing heap and wondered how I would go on. Somehow I did. And I maintained writing, in shorter spurts now that my energy was so low.

As I sat at my desk one afternoon, staring out the window because I was too tired to do anything else, my teary-eyed spouse, handed me a printout and said, I think this might be you. It was a depression checklist that hed found whilst doing some research for a photo series he was working on. And then it all made sense. I was depressed. How did I not see it?

We “was talkin about a” me ceasing the write but I explained that I couldnt. I had come this far and it would all be for nothing if I didnt finish. So we came up with a plan. I would only write for one hour a day and would go and insure a psychologist to see if she could help me get through it. I also went on antidepressants which eventually lead to a host of physical and mental health a matter that I am still retrieving from.( This past year I went through hell trying to ween off the medication Cymbalta)

So with a loving husband, psychologist, and pharmaceutical drugs in tow, I wrote and eventually finished my memoir. It would be a couple of years before I sold it to a publisher and had to go through the whole experience again during the editing process. By the time I was done I had relived the evening of my mothers accident on a daily basis for six years. I believed I was numbing myself but I have since discovered that I was actually rewiring my brain.

Studies have shown that replaying traumatic events over and over again is equivalent to living them, in your brain and your body. Your brain reads the information as though the event is happening in that instant. I lately read Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolks book The Body Keeps The Score in which he says, Flashbacks and reliving are in some ways worse than the trauma itself a traumatic event has a beginning and an aim but a flashback can happen anywhere, anytime and for an indeterminable duration of time.

Suddenly it all made sense. By writing my book I had unwittingly re-traumatised myself and have expended the past 10 years trying to find my style back.

Its funny, the main thing people say to me when discussing my book is how cathartic the penning must have been. I know they want me to say that it was, but I refuse to perpetuate the lie that used to describe your pain is freeing when that is not always the case.

And now when people tell me they plan to write a memoir I want to caution them about the possible costs of such an attempt. And yet, I want to be supportive, I dont want to be members of the public who tries to kill a writers dreams.

Writing a volume isnt easy but dredging up your past and used to describe it can be self-inflicted torture.

But who am I to tell you not to embark on that memoir? All I can say is: youve been warned.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.
In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

They say writing is cathartic, but used to describe my mothers succumbing almost killed me | Erin Vincent

Writing about her parents being killed when she was 14 forced Erin Vincent to relive the trauma for over six years. It brought her to the brink of suicide

Before writing a memoir about my parents dying in a road accident when I was 14 I went around saying, So my mothers succumbed, whats the big deal? I wholeheartedly believed that I had come away unscathed. When the topic of mothers came up in dialogue I would say, Oh, my parents are retired; they live up the coast. I figured I wasnt lying as they had retired, from life, and if you believe in life after death, which I do and dont, depending on the day, they were living up from the coast, all coasts.

So, how did I run from demise denier to published memoir novelist? Quite by accident.

I had just turned 30 and was starting to remember things from before my parents collision. We hear so much about people repressing traumatic memories but we humen also tend to repress good ones if they serve to remind us of all that weve lost. So in dread of losing the memories again I started writing them down and turning them into narratives for myself. I figured that if I lost them a second day I could just go back to what I had written.

As I remembered days at the beach, my fathers weird pastimes, and my mother dancing around the house to her Neil Diamond records, I started to feel compelled to also write about what life was like after they were run. So I steeled myself and wrote about wearing a hot pink dress to my mothers funeral. I wrote about the constant fear that my three-year-old brother would die if I took my eyes off him for simply one moment when we were out in the world. I wrote about the evening of my mothers collision and being told my mother was dead.

After several weeks of this it resulted to me that I was writing the various kinds of tales I wished Id had when I was in the midst of grief and guessed I was losing my mind as I struggled to get up each day each day and go to school, and once there, try not to run from the classroom screaming. So, on I wrote.

After reading a few of my tales my husband suggested I write a volume. This was the era of Angelas Ashes and Running With Scissors and he jokingly said, Hey, when it comes to sad stories two dead mothers trumps them all. He was incorrect of course but thought it would recommend me on.

I resisted for a long time but then wondered if I could write a raw and honest volume about my own heartbreak that might actually be of use to some people; perhaps help them feel less alone than I did when I read grief volumes with coverings photos of lavender fields and sunsets that told me grief came in five( only five ?!) stages and that heartache was like the rain. Grief is nothing like the fucking rain, I believed. If anything, heartbreak is like being lost at sea in a fury hurricane.

So to dispel those myths I decided to write a memoir about my experience and candidly believed I could knock it out in six months. How hard could it be? Id been a journalist used to describe other people, so used to describe myself, a topic I knew well, would be a cinch.

How incorrect I was about the write, and about myself.

About a year into the penning I wondered why I was so tired all the time; why after writing for an hour or two all I would want to do was sleep. I thought I was just being lazy so I pushed myself harder.

Determined to recollect as many details as possible I decided to bombard my senses. I bought Cds of the music from my childhood and items with familiar smellings such as Play Doh, my dads Old Spice, Brut, my sisters Charlie perfume, the 4711 cologne my mother used to wear, the brand of glue I being implemented in elementary school. And there I sat at my desk penning, sniffing and listening to Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, The Police, Blondie, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Neil Diamond.

Not long after this I became itchy, literally. Large red hives started seeming all over my body. Convinced I was having some kind of allergic reaction I proceeded to change soap, laundry cleanser, shampoo, and I stopped reeking the fragrances and aftershaves, but nothing ran. Then came the debilitating stomach aches, diarrhoea, and puke, which led me to hospital for a colonoscopy, which found nothing. I became listless, was screaming on a daily basis, my hair became limp, my nails brittle, and eventually I had trouble getting out of bed. And yet , not once did I attribute any of this to what I was writing.

And then one night I chose I couldnt go on and that my husbands life would be more joyous without his sick, miserable wife. I had it all schemed. I was going to write a note that said something along the lines of, Babe, do not enter. Just call the police. I love you. This was going to be videotapeed to the bathroom door before I locked it, sliced my wrists and laid in a warm bath and floated away. But then I thought about sorrow, something that was on my mind daily. Could I put him through that? I tried to reason with myself, But once the grief is gone, he can live a happy life. But still grief. Could I, of all people, cause the person I loved most in the world to experience what I had? No, I couldnt. So the note was never written. Instead I set the razor away, collapsed on to our bed in a sobbing heap and wondered how I would go on. Somehow I did. And I kept writing, in shorter spurts now that my energy was so low.

As I sat at my desk one afternoon, staring out the window because I was too tired to do anything else, my teary-eyed husband, handed me a printout and said, I think this might be you. It was a depression checklist that hed find whilst doing some research for a photo series he was working on. And then it all made sense. I was depressed. How did I not see it?

We talked about me ceasing the write but I explained that I couldnt. I had come this far and it would all be for nothing if I didnt finish. So we came up with a scheme. I would only write for one hour a day and would go and see a psychologist to see if she could help me get through it. I also went on antidepressants which eventually lead to a host of physical and mental health issues that I am still recovering from.( This past year I went through hell trying to ween off the narcotic Cymbalta)

So with a loving husband, psychologist, and pharmaceutical medications in tow, I wrote and eventually finished my memoir. It would be a couple of years before I sold it to a publisher and had to go through the whole experience again during the editing process. By the time I was done I had relived the night of my mothers accident on a daily basis for six years. I thought I was numbing myself but I have since discovered that I was actually rewiring my brain.

Studies have shown that replaying traumatic events over and over again is equivalent to living them, in your brain and your body. Your brain reads the information as though the event is happening in that instant. I lately read Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolks book The Body Keeps The Score in which he says, Flashbacks and reliving are in some ways worse than the trauma itself a traumatic event has a beginning and an end but a flashback can happen anywhere, anytime and for an indeterminable length of time.

Suddenly it all made sense. By writing my book I had unwittingly re-traumatised myself and have spent the past 10 years trying to find my route back.

Its funny, the main thing people say to me when discussing my book is how cathartic the penning must have been. I know they want me to say that it was, but I refuse to perpetuate the lie that used to describe your pain is freeing when that is not always the case.

And now when people tell me they plan to write a memoir I want to caution them about the possible costs of such an endeavour. And yet, I want to be supportive, I dont want to be the person who tries to kill a novelists dreams.

Writing a volume isnt easy but dredging up your past and writing about it is feasible to self-inflicted torture.

But who am I to tell you not to embark on that memoir? All I can say is: youve been alerted.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.
In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

‘ There’s blood on my Burberry !’- American Psycho causes a splash on Broadway

Audience members for the Broadway musical version of Bret Easton Elliss Wall Street fable are regretting not packing Patrick Bateman-style plastic ponchos

Name : American Psycho. Age : 25. Appearance : American. Psychotic.

Good heavens, are the escapades of murderous-or-possibly-just-delusional investment banker Patrick Bateman by then enfant terrible Bret Easton Ellis a quarter of a century old already ? They are indeed.

I feel old. Although I dont seem it, thanks to my assiduous application of honey almond body scrubbing, water-activated gel soap and herb mint facial masks. Thats from the film, but kudos.

Is the book being republished on this unlikely anniversary? No. It is being marked by something wholly more splendid, albeit accidentally.

Explain. I shall. A musical version, first staged in the UK at the Almeida, is previewing on Broadway.

Replete with sexuality, murders and executions, cannibalism, necrophilia, narcissism, exfoliation, business cards and torture, I hope and trust? Of course. And blood. Lots and lots of fake blood. Some of which has aroused complaints.

Ah, people objecting to the violence? Can they still not should be noted that the whole thing is a millefeuille of meta-jokery and viciously brilliant satirical commentary on the worst elements of late western consumer capitalism? That the violence is self-consciously cartoonish , not naturalistic? Its not that.

Oh. What is it then? The fake blood has been splashing members of the front rows. One girl approached the manager of the Gerald Schoenfeld theatre in tears, to show him her stained sweater, Burberry cashmere scarf and Louis Vuitton bag.

Thats too good. Thats too good. Are you sure she wasnt a plant by Bret EE? Apparently not. Thats just where we are now. Through the looking glass, round the bend and up shit creek without a pastiche paddle or hope in hell of redemption, soon to be beached for ever on Post-Post-Post Modern Island, population: a handful of fragments of whatever customarily masquerades as You.

Did the manager set them all in to soak for her? No, but he told her they would paying off cleaning bill.

They should have worn plastic ponchos like Bateman does for hacking up prostitutes and that. Stella MacCartney should get in quick and start pumping out designer pac-a-macs. I am sure that someone, somewhere, is already on that.

Do say : What an unknowingly acute criticism of the mess were in. Dont say : I prefer Singin in the Rain.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther review- a promising, subversive start

With the long-awaited new edition of the Marvel star, Coates and his illustrator, Brian Stelfreeze, have delivered on their promise of a dramatic upheaval

Marvel Comic has often turned to writers, famous beyond the world of capes and comics, to reinvent their lesser-known and lesser-loved titles. The novelist Jonathan Lethem, who set Marvels 1970 s output front and center in both Fortress of Solitude and his autobiographical book of essays The Disappointment Artist, wrote a self-contained 10 -issue series for the virtually forgotten Omega The Unknown in 2007. While G Willow Wilson, a comic book and fantasy writer most well known for her novel Alif the Unseen, transformed Ms Marvel into the first major Muslim superhero.

Now, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who went from his influential blogs and features at the Atlantic to the MacArthur fellowship, and the National Book Award, is helming a new running of Black Panther. If youve never heard of Black Panther, thats about to change. Not merely will he soon be incorporated into the Marvel cinematic world in the new Captain America film, but Coatess first issue of the comic has already hit sales of more than 300,000 copies, more than twice the demand for the previous months bestselling comic, Dark Knight III.

Black Panther has been through this process once before, when mystery novelist David Liss had the character take over for Daredevil and move to Hells Kitchen. The results were a kind of poor mans Batman right down to the goofy gadgets and a conflicted relationship with a mustachioed police officer he met on rooftops. Somehow, it still worked. Never a prominent enough character to have the fixed myth and reader expectations of a Spider-Man or a Batman, Black Panthers exact backstory, powers, code of conduct and position have all shifted many times over the 40 years that hes been punching evildoers in the face.

There are certain constants, however. The Black Panther isnt a secret identity, its a ceremonial title that belongs to TChalla, the monarch of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. The Black Panther is Wakandas king, the high priest of its Panther cult, and its warrior champ all at once. In some versions of his narrative, the title is hereditary, in others it is won by combat every year, but either way, the Black Panther eats a heart-shaped herb as part of his initiation which brings him into touch with the Panther god and awards him some superpowers.

Wakanda is the most technologically advanced nation in the world. It is just one of the wealthiest, thanks to the Great Mound, a meteor made out of vibranium that crashed in its own territory eons ago. Before TChallas reign, Wakanda was an isolationist country that many had never heard of, a secret African utopia that marriage tribal customs or white writers ideas of tribal customs to space-age science fiction.

TChalla has often left Wakanda for one reason or the other, and brought difficulty back with him. Over the years, TChalla has jump-kicked the Ku Klux Klan, hunted treasure, joined up with the Avengers, wedded an X-Man, survived multiple invasions from the neighboring state of Niganda, renounced his throne, filled in for Daredevil in Hells Kitchen, taught in a public school in Harlem, been divorced and staked the hearts of dozens of Confederate vampires in post-Katrina New Orleans. Throughout all this his essential decency has remained intact. In some writers hands, TChalla is arrogant wouldnt you be if you ruled a techno-futurist Utopia? but he is always, at heart, a good man. TChalla is , no matter what, a beloved, merciful, and just ruler, possessed of a personal sense of restraint and obligation.

The Black Panthers rule of Wakanda hasnt been seriously interrogated by the various writers who have told his narrative. It is this aspect that feels most fresh about Coatess take on the character. The comic begins with TChalla on his knees, unmasked, continues on to a civilian riot where he nearly kills his own citizens, through to a botched try at justice, and a mysterious psychic advising us that the people of Wakanda are ashamed of their king. This mysterious psychic is in some way responsible for the riot, but she did not make the emotions that caused it; the peoples own rage lay there, waiting to be exploited.

Coates may be a first-time comics writer whose entire published catalogue thus far is nonfiction, but he attacks the material with equanimity. The debut issue is the first in a yearlong, 12 -chapter arc. It is a bit overburdened with exposition. But it moves fluidly, lighting the fuses of several plots that will clearly intersect before explosion in the finale.

Emphasizing the broad scope of the series, Coatess script sets TChalla aside for long stretches of action, focusing instead on characters like Ayo and Aneka, two ex-Dora Milaje who are tired of living and succumbing on the blood-right of one human. While the dialogue is occasionally overcooked, with lines such as, Spare her, mom, spare her the motherfucker sanction of men whose honor is ostentation, whose justice is deceit, failing to grasp the epic grandeur for which they reach, this first issue appears to be the beginning of a very promising run.

The characters are clear, the ethical issues they face feel real and the world of Wakanda seems lived in. Credit for some of this must surely going to see artist Brian Stelfreeze, whose sense of style and visual storytelling are impressive, even in the heat of combat, and who builds great utilize of silhouette and emotive faces. These faces are neatly contrasted with TChallas own, which is often hidden by a mask or turned away from the reader. We read TChallas anguished narration, but he is separate from us in a manner that is reminiscent of how he feels divorced from his people and his nation.

Its a subversive way of looking at Black Panther and long overdue. Marvel Comic has often opened the doors for subversive takes on their titles. One of the best long-running comics series ever published, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleevs take on Daredevil, was the result of a similarly realistic consideration of the world of the character that their predecessors had constructed. The Black Panther has faced down threats to his rule on multiple fronts before. In Coates and Stelfreezes hands, the comic suggests that this time, perhaps he deserves it.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

My life with Oliver Sacks:’ He was the most unusual person I had ever known’

In this extract from his memoir, Bill Hayes, partner of Oliver Sacks, recalls the neurologists unworldly charm, their remarkable stay with Bjrk in Iceland, and the dignity of Sackss final weeks

He wrote me a letter. Thats how we satisfied. He had read my volume, The Anatomist , in proof, and enjoyed it.( I meant to provide a blurb, but got confused and forgot .) This was when I was still in San Francisco early 2008. This was when people still wrote letters regularly and when one got a letter, sat down and wrote a letter back.

Dear Mr Hayes
Dear Dr Sacks

Thus, a correspondence between O and me began.

A month later, I happened to be in New York and, at Olivers invitation, paid a visit. We had lunch at a cafe across the street from its term of office: mussels, fries, and several rounds of dark Belgian beer. We lingered at the table, talking, well into the afternoon. We found we had something other than writing in common: he, too, was a lifelong insomniac indeed, from a family of insomniacs.( It was understood at an early age that one could not sleep without sedation, he told me wryly .)

I had not been aware had never considered whether he was hetero- or homosexual, single or in a relationship. By the end of our lunch, I hadnt come to any firm conclusions on either matter, as he was both so shy and quite formal qualities I do not possess. But I did know that I was intrigued and attracted. How could one not be? He was brilliant, sweet, modest, handsome, and prone to sudden, ebullient outbursts of boyish exuberance. I recollect how O get quite carried away talking about 19 th-century medical literature, its novelistic qualities an enthusiasm I shared.

We stayed in touch. I sent him photo I had taken in Central Park of bare tree legs. I thought they looked like vascular capillaries. With his neurologists eye, he felt they looked like neurons.

I am reminded of how Nabokov compared wintertime trees to the nervous systems of giants, he wrote back.

I was sort of smitten, I had to admit.

Even so, that was that for then. There was an entire country between us , not to mention 30 years age change. My decision to move to New York more than a year later truly had nothing to do with Oliver, and I certainly did not have a relationship in mind. I had simply reached a point in my life where I had to get away from San Francisco and all the memories it held and start fresh.

But once I moved, O and I started spending time together and quickly get better and better acquainted.

Not long after I moved to New York, Michael Jackson succumbed. O had no notion who Michael Jackson was. What is Michael Jackson? he asked me the day after the news not who but what which seemed both a very odd and a very apt route of putting it, given how much the brilliant vocalist had transmuted from a human into an foreigner being. O often said he had no knowledge of popular culture after 1955, and this was not an exaggeration. He did not know popular music, rarely watched anything on Tv but the news, did not enjoy contemporary fiction, and had zero interest in celebrities or reputation( including his own ). He didnt possess a computer, had never use email or texted; he wrote with a fountain pen. This wasnt pretentiousness; he wasnt proud of it; indeed, this feeling of not being with it contributed to his extreme shyness. But there was no denying that his savours, his habits, his ways everyone is irreversibly, fixedly , not of our time.

Do I seem like I am from another century? he would sometimes ask me, virtually poignantly. Do I seem like I am from another age?

You do, yes, you do.

For me, this was part of the fascination with him. I was assuring a few other humen during my first summertime in New York, but dates with O were completely different. We didnt go to movies or to MoMA or to new eateries or Broadway proves. We took long walks in the botanical garden in the Bronx, where he could expatiate on every species of fern. We visited the Museum of Natural History not for the dinosaurs or special exhibitions but to spend time in the often empty, chapel-like room of gems, minerals, and, especially, these components O knew the tales behind the discoveries of every single one. At night, we might walk from the West Village to the East, O talking excitedly nonstop, to have a beer and burger at McSorleys Old Ale House.

I became aware that not only had he never been in a relationship, he had also never come out publicly as a homosexual human. But in a way, hed had no reason to do so he hadnt had sexuality in three-and-a-half decades, he told me. At first, I did not believe him; such a monk-like existence devoted exclusively to run, read, writing, believing seemed at once awe-inspiring and inconceivable. He was without a doubt the most unusual person I had ever known, and before long I discovered myself not only falling in love with O; it was something more, something I had never experienced before. I adored him.

Spring
Spring Shadows. Photograph: Bill Hayes
26 August 2012
I, listening to Bjrk on my iPod; O, reading and writing in his travel periodical; We: drinking champagne on a flight to Reykjavk. I look over and consider O making a listing in his journal. He tells me he is writing out all the elements that are NOT present in the human body 😛 TAGEND

He
U
B
Be
Al
Si
Ar
Sg
Ti
V
Ni
Ga
Ge
As
Br
Kr
Rb
Sr
Y
Z

When I ask, he names each of them, following my thumb as I go down the listing. He interrupts himself at one point: They like to be remembered and recited like this. They? O nods. He could not appear more delighted, and its not because of the alcohol. Listed separately, under the heading No or infinitesimal, are the exceptions. He goes on to explain the difference between organic and nonorganic chemistry. I do not and expect I never will understand half of what he is saying.

28 August 2012
Bjrk invited us to her home in Reykjavk for lunch a remarkable afternoon; O said it best: Everything was unexpected. The two met a couple of years ago when Bjrk asked Oliver to appear in a BBC documentary about music, but they had never expended time together socially. And in fact, O knew very little about her work up until shortly before we made this trip. I got a DVD compilation of her music videos and conducted a crash course in Bjrk for him. O sat on the edge of his bed, inches from the TV screen, as he needs to in order to hear properly, and watched without stirring, mesmerised especially by the visuals, for 90 minutes. Because of his face blindness, which constructs it difficult for O to recognise people not only on the street but also in movies and on TV, hed sometimes ask, Is that Bjrk? or, Which one is Bjrk? A swan dress one minute, robotic gear the next, her constant changing of costumes and hairstyles utterly confounded him, but he was deeply impressed by her artistry.

We pulled into the driveway at the back of Bjrks home and I assured her through the kitchen window. She appeared to be in the middle of a chore, concentrating. A simple hedge fenced the house. There was a child-sized table and chairs in the front yard, the put for a tea party. We didnt watch a track, so we parted a hedge awkwardly and made our way to the front doorway. She answered. In my memory, she curtsied. Of course she didnt, but her air of modesty and respect in greeting O had that impression. She ushered us into the dining room, where a table was set.

Bjrks hair was up, held by a barrette with blue featherings. She wore a simple tunic made from several different kinds of coloured and patterned textile; she may have constructed it herself. She wore white pants under the tunic and wedge sandals. Her face: unlined , no makeup, pretty; eyes the color of jade; lush, jet-black eyebrows, shaped like two feathers.

Bjrk advised us to sit and feed. The chairs were carven from tree stumps. The tablecloth was embellished with seashells. On the table: warm, salted mixed nuts in tiny dishes. Almost immediately, she brought out a steaming pan of baked trout, a salad and a bowl of boiled potatoes I like it with the skins left on, she said, almost apologetically, dont you? O and I nodded.

Conversation was lively. We talked about Iceland, about Olivers new volume, Hallucinations ; about her Cd, Biophilia , and her new projects. She told us that shed recorded Biophilia ( its name inspired by Olivers Musicophilia ) in the lighthouse Id spotted the night before when I was chasing down the sundown. Bjrk said she had a calendar in the kitchen with the time for the tide going in and out, so they would know when they could get to the lighthouse and how long they would be stuck there while the tide was in. She chuckled. It was genuinely, really good, because it forced me to run; I couldnt leave if I wanted to.

After eating, Bjrk resulted us from the table, through a little doorway, and to the stairs. These were not stairs in any conventional route. Oliver ever the naturalist knew exactly: Why, such is basalt stones! This looks like a stairway carved out of a wall of basalt! Bjrk nodded. Adding to this remarkable sight: the railing in the winding stairway was made of whale rib bones. Bjrk smiled and helped Oliver up. And this, she pointed to the shimmering lamp hanging overhead, dropping into the stairwell actually my daughter and I constructed it out of mussel shells. It wasnt is expected to be permanent, but we like it.

She wandered into an upper room, and we followed. There, she showed us two custom-made instruments, a celeste and what looked like a harpsichord. Both had been modified somehow through instructions from a programme on her Mac. I could tell that O was completely lost as she explained how this worked. Yet it was then, right then, that I realised how much she and O were alike fellow geniuses, incredibly, intuitively brilliant while being at the same time such an unlikely pair of friends.

Back downstairs, Bjrk brought out a gooseberry tart, with berries picked from her own trees. Shed stimulated it with her daughter the night before. As she was the cook, of course she had to have the first piece, she said, pointing out the missing wedge. She served it topped with fresh, plain skyr, which has a sour bite to it along with coffee and tea. The tea situate was out of Alice in Wonderland each beaker literally half a cup, sliced in half. Ive learned that these are for right-handed people, these teacups, she says, or I learn who is left-handed by watching them try to beverage from them. She giggled.

We finished the tart. I looked at Olivers watch and insured that it was almost 3.30; marriage been here three hours. Oliver signed cash advances copy of Hallucinations You will be the only person in all of Iceland with this volume and I gave her a copy of one of mine. For Bjrk, with gratitude, I signed it.

30 December 2012
On a red-eye to Reykjavk for New Years Eve: Leaving New York, the city seemed embellished in gold thread. Now, clouds and starrings, and what sounds like a hymn: Craving miracles Bjrk sings.

1 January 2013
Supper of skyr, cookies and tea in our tiny hotel room. Regaining. Snow falling. Last night, a New Years Eve dinner at Bjrks, was like being safely in the middle of a very happy war; a huge bonfire on the beach across the street from her home encircled by people singing; fireworks running off in every direction, from every home, all night long, and culminating in a chaotically beautiful, or beautifully chaotic, fireworks display at midnight in the town square. As if the sky were full of shooting stars. As the church bells pealed 12 periods. As the ground was snow-covered, white, the floor of a cloud. As everyone kissed and hugged one another. Bottles of champagne and brennivn , an Icelandic schnapps clear and strong.

17 February 2013
Oliver and I went to a small chamber orchestra concert at the American Irish Historical Society, a pearl box of a building immediately across the street from the Metropolitan Museum. He knows the Irish gentleman who organises these concerts, Kevin. They feature students from Juilliard. Very intimate. Unpretentious. Free of charge. A handful of people in folding chairs maybe 40. Kevin had saved seats for O and me in the front row. Just as he was constructing his introductions, a woman rushed in by herself and plopped on to the cushy rose-coloured sofa right next to our seats: Lauren Hutton, the model from the 70 s: I recognised her instantly by her gap-toothed smile and slightly crossed eyes. Now in her late 60 s, still beautiful, her face naturally lined. And, one couldnt help but notice, she had a big bruiser of a black eye.

The concert began with no further ado, and we all sat back and enjoyed the programme Brahms, Haydn, Ravel by these enchanting musicians.

With the final note, Lauren Hutton was the first to pop up and give the trio a standing ovation. Do you have a fan club? she screamed above the clapping; it was a little startling, like someone yelling in a church. Im starting your fan club. Youre fantastic, youre going places! The musicians bowed shyly and departed.

There was a small reception afterwards. Nothing fancy two bottles of San Pellegrino and a couple bottles of wine but no bottle-opener. O and I were talking with Kevin when Lauren Hutton strolled up to us: Do one of you kind gentlemen have an opener? Even a knife would do I could pry it open with a penknife.

Why dont you use your teeth? I said to her.

She giggled and smiled that famous gap-toothed smile. I could. I could have once, but she wandered off. The bottle get opened somehow. Eventually she circled back and poured water for everyone. She overheard Oliver talking to Kevin about his new book, Hallucinations , which was coming out in a couple weeks. Lauren leaned across the table and listened intently.

Hey doc, you ever done belladonna? she asked. Now theres a drug!

Well, as a matter of fact, yes, I have, and he proceeded to tell her about his hallucinations on belladonna. They traded tales. Eventually she began to figure out that this wasnt his first book.

Are you are you Oliver Sacks? The Oliver Sacks? Oliver appeared both pleased and stricken.

Well, it is very good to meet you, sir. She voiced like a southern barmaid in a 50 s western. But it wasnt an act. Ive been reading you since route back. Oliver Sacks imagine that!

Oliver, I should note, had absolutely no idea who she was , nor would he understand if I had pulled him aside and told him.

Fashion? Vogue publication? No idea

The two of them hit it off. She was fast-talking, bawdy, opinionated, a broad the opposite of Oliver except for having in common that mysterious quality: charm.

Somewhere along the way, she explained the black eye: a few days earlier, she had strolled out of a business meeting at which shed learned that she had been rob of a third of everything shed ever earned, and in a daze walked smack into a scaffolding tube at eye level on the sidewalk. She didnt seem too bothered by it: shit happens.

I appeared up and find that the room was empty by now but for Kevin and us.
Well, gentlemen, Im going downtown. Share a cab?
Uh, we have a car, I said.
Even better. Much more civilised. Im downtown.
How could one reject? Lets go, shall we? I said. Lauren Hutton offered Oliver an limb and we strolled slowly to the parking garage. I pushed things out of the route in the back seat; she tossed in her handbag, and dove in. She immediately popped her head between our seats the three of us were practically ear-to-ear.

Her unbelievable face blocked my rearview mirror. When O took out his billfold to give me a credit card for the parking, she spotted the transcript of the periodic table he carries in lieu of a drivers licence. This inspired a series of questions about the periodic table, the elements, the composition of the very air we were breathing. A dozen topics led to a dozen more, like a student soaking up knowledge. We talked about travelings Iceland, Africa and Plato, Socrates, the pygmies, William Burroughs, poets She was clearly intensely curious, life-loving, adventurous. In passing, she said something about having been a model The only reason I did it was so I could stimulate enough dough to traveling but otherwise didnt say anything about that part of their own lives. Traffic was thick, so it took quite a while to get downtown.

Eventually, we reached her address, or close enough.

Well, gentlemen, it has been a true pleasure. I cannot thank you enough. This is where I exit. Goodbye for now. And she was gone, as abruptly as shed arrived. Oliver took a breath as we headed west and home. I dont know who that was, but she seems like a very remarkable person.

12 January 2015
Got back last night from St Croix in the US Virgin Islands a birthday trip. I turned 54( equivalent to the atomic number for xenon, so O gave me four xenon flashlights ). O did not feel well much of the time nauseated, tired, slept a lot. We nearly cancelled the trip-up, last minute. Two nights before we left, he told me he had dark urine. I was sceptical hes hypochondriacal even on good day, as he is the first to admit. But I could see he was worried, talked him into peeing into a clear glass so I could check, and was startled where reference is brought it into the kitchen; his urine was the colour of Coca-Cola. It seemed to clear up some while we were in St Croix. Even so, he had made a doctors appointment before leaving for the trip.

Later
O only returned from his GP, who thinks he has some kind of gallbladder inflammation, maybe gallstones. Did an ultrasound, but theyre operating more tests.

15 January 2015
Os doctor phoned: peculiar findings re: Cat scan yesterday. So: am taking him to ensure a radiologist at Sloan Kettering. They want to see him this afternoon.

Olivers
Olivers Periodic Table.

Sloan Kettering is a cancer hospital, but cancer had not entered my mind. I was still banking on the possibility of gallstones; I thought, at worst, Oliver might have to have his gallbladder removed. I remember the doctor entering the consulting room with a young medical fellow( he was from Italy, I think ), and how nervous the young man looked. The doctor got right to it and told us that he had carefully reviewed the Cat scan and, although a confirmatory biopsy would have to be performed, he was 90% sure of the diagnosis and said he had some tough news. I remember that term, tough. He asked Oliver if hed like to see the Cat scan. Oliver said yes, of course, and he flipped on the computer monitor.

Later he told me that he knew instantaneously what the scan said. I did not, and I was stunned when the radiologist has pointed out that what we were looking at was a recurrence of the uveal melanoma Oliver had had nine years earlier a cancer arising from the pigment cells in his right eye; over day, it had metastasised to his liver, which was now riddled like Swiss cheese with tumors. He enlarged the image on the monitor, so the white spots the cancer appeared as large as those made by a pit punch. In instances like this, with a potential of the cancer spreading, and at Olivers age, the doctor said, neither a liver resection nor a liver graft would be possible. What has stuck with me so clearly is how calmly Oliver took this news. It was as if he was expecting it, as perhaps he was. He sort of tilted his head and stroked his beard and requested information about the prognosis, and the doctor said: Six to 18 months.

And theres no effective treatment?

The doctor didnt say no, but he didnt say yes. He explained what could be done, that all efforts would be done, an oncology squad was already in place, hed just gotten off the phone with a specialist, and so on, but Oliver cut him off. He said he was not interested in prolonging life just for the sake of prolonging life. Two of his brothers had died of different forms of cancer, and both had regretted undergoing horrid chemotherapy therapies that had done nothing but ruin their last months.

I want to be able to write, believe, read, swim, be with Billy, insure friends, and maybe travel a little bit, if possible. Oliver added that he hoped not to be in ghastly ache or for his condition to become humiliating, and then he fell silent.

The next day, we went swimming at noon, as we always did on Fridays, and then spent a quiet weekend together, taking walks, read, listening to music, going to the open-air market at Abingdon Square, cooking, both of us trying to assimilate the overwhelming news. Oliver consulted with a few colleagues, including the ophthalmologist who had treated his cancer years before; he had had a chance to look at the Cat scan, too. Recurrences such as this were considered extremely rare, yet the consensus seemed to be that the preliminary diagnosis was most likely correct and that treatment alternatives were few.

Over the weekend, Oliver mentioned a few times that he was considering writing a little piece about receiving his diagnosis. And on Sunday night, after we had constructed dinner and cleared the dishes, he took up a small notepad and his fountain pen. Well, lets watch He paused. I suppose I want to begin by saying that a month ago, I felt that I was in good health. But now my luck has run out

Hold it, I interrupted, let me get a pen. I did so, and a notepad, and I scribbled what he had just said. OK, keep going. From there, Oliver dictated the entire essay, virtually verbatim to the version that would eventually is displayed in the New York Times .

He spent several days tinkering with it but then he set it aside. Oliver worried that his feelings were perhaps too raw, and felt it was too soon to publish it, given that most of his friends and family members did not yet know his news.

In lieu of any experimental therapies, Oliver constructed the decision to go ahead with a surgical procedure called an embolisation, which would cut off blood supply to the tumor in his liver and therefore kill them off temporarily( they would unavoidably return, he was told ). Dramatically lowering the tumour onu held the promise of offering him several more months of active life. As we waited in the hospital for him to be admitted for surgery, Oliver suddenly turned to Kate[ Edgar, Sackss long-time friend and collaborator] and me and said he felt the time was right to send the piece over to the New York Times . Neither of us questioned him; we just said, OK. Kate emailed the essay to our mutual editor at the Times , and we heard back almost immediately: They wanted to run the piece the next day. We asked for one extra day to get Oliver safely through the procedure first and they agreed. Olivers essay My Own Life was scheduled for publishing on 19 February 2015.

17 February 2015
In post-surgery recovery: cutting off blood furnish to the cancer in the liver may sound somewhat benign, but the body revolts with full force against such an intrusion. O repeatedly tears off his hospital gown because he is in so much pain that even the thin cotton material causes inconvenience. The young female nurses act scandalised by this and keep trying to cover him up. At one point, O hollers out in exasperation: If one cant be naked in a hospital, where can one be naked ?! I hear a nurse in the hallway join me in laughter. I cover his genitals with a washcloth when the morphine finally kicks in and he falls asleep.

27 February 2015
I brought O a few of the letters and emails written in response to his New York Times essay. I: Howd it feel to read those? O: Good! I: You have about 800 more to go. O: Id like to see all of them.

22 April 2015
O: The most we can do is to write intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively about what it is like living in the world at this time.

7 July 2015
O, proudly, playing a new Schubert piece, and with great panache demonstrating how it requires crossed hands. I am quite amazed and impressed, and I clap.

8 July 15
The day before Os 82 nd birthday, and we got bad news with his latest Cat scan bad much worse than expected. Not merely have the tumors regrown, the cancer has spread: kidneys, lungs, skin. O wants to go ahead with his birthday party, and doesnt want people to know. Auden always said one must celebrate ones birthday, he says.

9 July 2015
Os birthday: at his party O asks me to go get the bottle of 1948 Calvados a rare brandy given to him as a gift years ago and sealed in a wooden box. I open it for him. I: Do you want a glass? O: No, he says, and takes a swig, eyes closed. Lovely, he pronounces and seems around the room. Who would like some? Later, he tells me hed forgotten that he had left the Calvados to a friend in his will.

13 July 2015
Very, very tired, I did the dinner dishes speedily, collected my things, and earlier than usual, told Oliver I was heading to bed and said good night. But as I headed for the bedroom, O called to me from his desk, Do you know why I love to read Nature and Science each week? I turned. No, I shook my head. I was almost confused; this seemed such a non sequitur. Amaze I always read something that surprises me, he said.

25 July 2015
In the country: O is finishing one essay, working on two others at least two others. Hows the writing going? I ask, waking from a nap. He smiles mischievously. I meant to stop, but I couldnt. And he goes back to it. I watch. He doesnt have a fancy desk here; its simply a folding table. All he needs is a pad and his fountain pen and a comfy chair.

Later, we go for a swim. The water in the pool is a bright emerald green, caused by an excess of copper and iron in the well.

You are swimming in these components, I tell O, swimming in a pool of copper.
Lovely, he murmurs, doing his backstroke.

1 August 2015
He plays Beethoven he never used to long, haunting pieces, complex pieces whereas he used to only play Bach preludes, and in stops and starts.

10 August 2015
O is working on a new piece: Sabbath. Every now and then, a little request comes, always phrased politely: If you would be so kind: look up something for me on your little box? Little box is his name for an iPhone, a name he find too ugly to pronounce, to speak. Its not even a word, as he points out, its a brand. Sometimes he calls the phone my communicator, as if out of Star Trek . Today, he wants me to look up the meaning of the Latin nunc dimittis. As is almost always the case with O, it wasnt necessary: hed had the definition exactly right in the first place: nunc dimittis is the final sung in a religious service.

16 August 2015
I say I love writing, but actually it is thinking I love that rushing of thoughts new connects in the brain being stimulated. And it comes out of the blue. O smiled. In such moments: I feel such love of the world, love of thinking

23 August 2015
What are your wishes, Dr Sacks? said the hospice nurse. How would you like to pass? At home, answered O in a clear, steady voice, with no pain or inconvenience, and with my friends here.

28 August 2015
O, who has had no craving, abruptly asked to have smoked salmon and Ryvita for lunch. He insisted we get him out of bed, into his dressing gown, take him to his table, and to consider my piano. We brought a plate to him: with incredible dignity, and slowness, he carefully cut a single piece at a time. He could only ate three bites. And when I suggested something sweet some ice cream? He said: No, a pear. He had one slice then asked that we take him back to bed.

29 August 2015
I am at his side, in his bedroom, where Kate and I have been maintaining a special watch since 5.30 am. Thats when Maurine( our hospice nurse) woke me in the other room: Billy, come now his breathing has changed. It has slackened to simply three or four breaths per minute long stillness in between. He is no longer conscious. He is stretched out on his bed diagonally and looks comfy. Maurine, who has been at the side of many patients as they die, tells us this is the last phase, but that it could go on for many hours, days maybe. A little while ago, I appeared around the room, mobbed with bedsheets, towels, pads, medications, an oxygen tank and other medical equipment, and I began clearing it out, all of it. First, I brought in stacks of all of Os volumes, cleared a bedside table, and put them there. I brought in a cycad plant and a fern. Kate joined me, and we cleared more space, making room on another table for some of Os beloved minerals and components, his fountain pens, a ginkgo fossil, his pocket watch. Elsewhere, a few books by his heroes Darwin, Freud, Luria, Edelman, Thom Gunn and photos his father, Auden, his mother as a girl with her 17 siblings, his aunts and uncles, two brothers. We brought in blooms, candles. I am heartbroken but at peace. Last night, before get some sleep, I came in to see if he needed anything.

Do you know how much I love you? I said.

No. His eyes were closed. He was smiling, as if find beautiful things.

A lot.

Good, O said, very good.

Sweet dreams.

Bill Hayes Q& A: Conversations and scenes jumped off the page

Oliver
Oliver Sacks, left, and Bill Hayes in 2015. Photograph: Corbis
What stimulated you publish your diaries? Some of the entries are very intimate and personal why did you want to induce them public ?
I didnt expect to. I had signed a contract to write a volume about New York a long time before Oliver got his diagnosis and initially I had no expectation that I was even going to write about us. But things changed after his death and I began to think about how I would write about my life in New York, my relationship with New York City and my relationship with Oliver. It was then that I went back to my publication, which I had started at Olivers urging a few weeks after I moved here in 2009. Dialogues and scenes just jumped off the page and I realised they could be much more effective at chronicling our lives than if I were to write a traditionally bred narrative. The entries that follow the diagnosis of Olivers cancer are awfully affecting. How difficult were those days for you ?
Extremely difficult, heartbreaking at times. But it wasnt a first experience for me[ Hayes cared for his previous partner through several Aids-related illnesses before losing him to a heart attack ]. As a lesbian man living in San Francisco in the early 1990 s, I had very deep and intimate experience of the Aids epidemic, caring for and losing friends and co-workers at the
San Francisco Aids Foundation. Thats not to say it attained it easier, precisely, caring for Oliver but dying was something I knew about. How would Oliver have felt about Insomniac City ?
I think he would have been delighted and proud. Oliver published his autobiography, On the Move , in May 2015, three months before his death. Its very candid and open about his sex identity and about our relationship. Prior to that, Oliver had never spoke or written at all about his private life and his decision to do so gently opened a doorway, allowing me to write about my life with him in a way I am not sure I would have or could have had he not done that. How would you describe Olivers legacy to the world ?
I think there are several legacies. I think he opened up for the world and for all of us conversations about neurodiversity and neurological conditions and how people adapt to them, everything from autism to Tourette syndrome to blindness. I think he also left an amazing legacy in his writing about mortal illness and facing death in his column in the New York Times . That was, I think, a very generous and gracious act in his final year. And his final legacy is that, while on one level my volume is about me reinventing myself in middle age, theres another story there about Oliver Sacks reinventing himself, in his 70 s. And I love that. At age 75, he opened his heart up and fell in love, started a new romantic and domestic life with another person with me and continued to work so productively all of which built being old seem adventurous and fun. What do you miss most about Oliver ?
His companionship. I hope the reader gets a sense of what our relationship and conversations were like. We talked and chuckled a lot. He was very funny and liked wordplay and puns. He could be very self-deprecating and eccentric. So most of all I miss the consolation of his company and the laughter.
Interview by Lisa OKelly

Extract from Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes( Bloomsbury 16.99 ). To order a copy for 14.44 going to see bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p& p of 1.99

Bill Hayes will be signing copies of Insomniac City on Monday 3 April at the London Review Bookshop, London WC1, and on Tuesday 4 April at Gays the Word, also London WC1. He will be giving a talk on 4April to the How to Academy, at the Cond Nast College of Fashion& Design, London W1

Read more: www.theguardian.com