Jeff Nuttall’s fiction displays an impatience with the constraints of words and language; the predictable course of a line carrying a thought across a page. The conventional order of narrative traditions were beneath his initial ambition. Never preoccupied with well-wrought description and dialogue that attempted to simulate real events, his objective was far more provocative: to lure readers into original experiences, from the carnal to the cerebral, from high art to low down and dirty humour. His strategy included the prospecting of biological intimacy, through conduits and chambers, tactile immersions in flesh, fluids, viscose matter; resurfacing where instincts manifest through swelling, dilation, tumescence; changes in hue, temperature, scent and flavour. He was a shameless chronicler of the body, as labyrinth and topography. His commitment to his material was intense and sustained. This anthology collects five novels published between 1975 and 1994: Snipe’s Spinster, The House Party, The Gold Hole, The Patriarchs, Teeth.
“We are left with a handful of novelists preoccupied with purifying their own means and materials . . . Jeff Nuttall has pushed this situation towards one of its most interesting ends and, in doing so . . . has give the novel a whole new voice to work with.” — John Calder
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About the Author
Douglas Field lectures in twentieth century American literature at the University of Manchester. His most recent book is All Those Strangers: The Art and Lives of James Baldwin (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is a frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.
Jay Jeff Jones has been involved with underground and small press literary magazines since the 1960s, as a contributor and editor. He knew Jeff Nuttall for many years and published some of Nuttall's shorter work in a magazine he edited in the late 1970s. His multi-produced biographical play about Jim Morrison, The Lizard King, was revived last year in Milwaukee.