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About the Author: Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy — “English fiction’s new laureate of disappointment” (Time Out, September 2007) — is a writer and artist. He was born in 1969 and lives in a tower-block in London. Tom grew up in Greenwich, south London, and studied English at New College, Oxford. After a couple of years in Prague in the early 1990s, he lived in Amsterdam as literary editor of the local Time Out, and later worked in British television as well as co-editing Mute magazine.

His debut novel Remainder was first published in November 2005 by Paris-based art press Metronome. After becoming a cult hit championed first by British webzines (it was 3:AM Magazine’s Book of the Year for 2005) and then by the literary press, Remainder was republished by Alma Books in the UK (2006) and Vintage in the US (2007). A French version is to be followed by editions in Japanese, Korean, Greek, Spanish and Croatian.

A work of literary criticism, Tintin and the Secret of Literature, was released by Granta Books in June 2006. It also came out in France and an American edition is in the offing.

Tom’s second novel, Men in Space came out in 2007.

He has published numerous stories, essays and articles on literature, philosophy and art in publications including The Observer, The Times Literary Supplement and Contemporary Magazine, as well as in anthologies such as London from Punk to Blair (Reaktion Books), Theology and the Political (Duke University Press) and The Milgram Experiment (Jan van Eyck Press). His story, “Kool Thing, Or Why I Want to Fuck Patty Hearst” appeared in The Empty Page: Fiction Inspired By Sonic Youth (Serpent’s Tail) in 2008.

His ongoing project the International Necronautical Society, a semi-fictitious avant-garde network that surfaces through publications, proclamations, denunciations and live events, has been described by Untitled Magazine as ‘the most comprehensive total art work we have seen in years’ and by Art Monthly as ‘a platform for fantastically mobile thinking’. In 2003 the INS broke into the BBC website and inserted propaganda into its source-code. The following year, they set up a broadcasting unit at the ICA from which more than forty ‘agents’ generated non-stop poem-codes which were transmitted over FM radio in London and by internet to collaborating radio stations around the world.

Tom has also tutored and lectured at various institutions including the Architectural Association, Central Saint Martins School of Art, the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths College and Southern California Institute of Architecture. He recently taught a course on ‘Catastrophe’ with Marko Daniel at the London Consortium.


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Goodreads rating: 3.24

Hardcover, Published in Mar 2015 by Jonathan Cape

ISBN10: 0224090194 | ISBN13: 9780224090193

Page count: 173

MEET U. – CORPORATE ANTHROPOLOGIST secreted in the basement of a large consultancy. U. spends his time toiling away at a great, epoch-defining public project which no one, least of all its own creators, understands. Besieged by data, confronted at every turn by the fact of his own redundancy, U. grows obsessed with the images – oil-spills, roller-bladers heading nowhere over streets that revolutionaries once tore up, zombies on parade – which the world and all its veil-like screens bombard him with on a daily basis.

Is there a plot at work behind the veil? Is it buffering a portal to the technological divine? Who killed the parachutist in the news? And what’s this got to do with South Pacific Cargo Cults? U.’s disconnected notes from underground in fact amount to an impassioned, integrated vision – of disintegration. Satin Island is a book that captures our out-of-joint times like no other.

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