As a teenager I used to save up my money for monthly trips to London where I would blow it all on booze and loose women.
Not really. I did blow it all though. On records and books. I'd come home laden with bags. Mostly from the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street which was my treasure trove of choice as a young lad. They had a great cult book range, perfect for me. I remember buying my first Bukowski there (Love Is A Dog From Hell) and, one fine sunny weekend, a copy of Slaves Of New York by Tama Janowitz.
Those of you old enough to remember when that book first came out will recall that it caused quite a stir. It had been a huge hit in the States and was equally popular here. Remarkable for a collection of short stories. It is still considered by many to be a classic.
Little did I know then that twenty years later I would be Tama's publisher and editor. Oh yes. She has just signed to The Friday Project for her next novel, They Is Us, and we hope to reissue some of her out-of-print titles as well.
They Is Us is subtitled 'a cautionary horror story' and makes for quite alarming reading. Set in a future America it is a warped tale of one family's struggle to get by in a world that is eating away at itself through pollution, commercialism and technology. Tama has created a totally believable version of the future, you could really see things turning out like this, and injected it with her own sharp wit and humour. It is quite a book.
We will be publishing it in June 2008 as a strictly limited edition. Every copy will come housed in a metal box and will be signed by the author. Each will be numbered and all the boxes will contain a special 'gift' from Tama. This may be a small painting by Tama, or an original photograph from her bizarre collection of doll pics, or perhaps something equally odd and alluring. This is set to be a highly collectible edition and only 1,000 will ever be made, followed by a slightly more traditional paperback in September.