'I have an announcement to make. An announcement I've been desperately hoping, for seventeen years, that I would some day be able to make, and now I can. The Strangler Fig, my new, vast novel — seventeen years in the writing — is going to be published in the UK. It is being issued by Black Spring Press, a venerable house associated with some of my greatest heroes in various media, including Orson Welles, Leonard Cohen, and Nick Cave. Black Spring also published Baudelaire, who I'm sure was elated, but he was too posthumous at the time to make an announcement. I genuinely worried that would be my situation.
The Strangler Fig is not breezy, commercial fiction. It is, among other things, the Don Giovanni story, except that my Giovanni is a woman, a talented pornographer who incorporates her seduced victims into images that destroy their dignity, and often their lives. It also involves a production of Strindberg's Dream Play, performed by despairing cam girls; and a choreographer whose entire troupe consists of professional fighters who have been crippled in the ring. The introduction has been written by Jennifer Bloomer, a scholar of Joyce and Piranesi, and probably the world's leading expert on Finnegans Wake. All this to say: it is not a beach read. It is, however, precisely the novel I wanted to write — the most difficult task I have ever undertaken — and I'm thrilled that it's found a home. A home with a prestigious address, even.
As we all know, the publishing industry is in crisis, and literary fiction has never been less welcome. Some of our finest living novelists, established for decades, are failing to find publishers for their latest work. I feel blessed.'