Selected Essays

Toby Litt


Toby Litt

Distributed for Seagull Books

304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2016
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780857423337 Published May 2016 World sales rights except India
E-book $25.00 ISBN: 9780857423467 Published June 2016
Toby Litt is best known for his “hip-lit” fiction, which, in its sharing of characters and themes across numerous stories and novels, has always taken an unusual, hybrid form. In Mutants, he applies his restless creativity to nonfiction. The book brings together twenty-six essays on a range of diverse topics, including writers and writing, and the technological world that informs and underpins it. Each essay is marked by Litt’s distinct voice, heedless of formal conventions and driven by a curiosity and a determination to give even the shortest piece enough conceptual heft to make it come alive. Taken as a whole, these pieces unexpectedly cohere into a manifesto of sorts, for a weirder, wilder, more willful fiction.

Praise for Toby Litt
“A genuinely individual talent with a positive relish for dealing with the contemporary aspects of the modern world.”—Scotsman

“Toby Litt is awfully good—he gives something new every time he writes.”—Muriel Spark

“He has invented a fresh, contemporary style—it will sing in the ears of this generation.”—Malcolm Bradbury
What I think

Tolstoy and Gogol via Ricardo Lísias
Headfuck Fiction via Carlos Labbé
B. S. Johnson
Literature and Technology
Talking to Strangers

How I Came to Think It

On Perversity
W. G. Sebald
Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans
On Monsters
On Ghost Stories
Film vs Fiction
Fame vs Genius
Against Historical Fiction
‘Here Is London, Giddy London’: Some Drawing Lessons From Hogarth
Writing Twenty-First-Century London
The Mays

Review Quotes
On the Seawall
“Addressed primarily to aspiring writers, Litt’s essays collected in Mutants both derogate conventional prose and point the way to alternatives. He offers the sort of advice you won’t get from editors and literary agents at writing conferences, neither groups of which can meet their interlocking quarterly profit goals if you are too independent of spirit and technique.”
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