The editor, Nick (High Fidelity) Hornby, as well as writing a moving and very heartfelt introduction--his own child is autistic--submits one of the best efforts: "Nipple Jesus", a slyly funny parable about a security man guarding a chunk of dubious modern art. Other notable contributions come from Irvine (Trainspotting) Welsh with one of his identity-swap-stories, this time about a Scottish stud-muffin turned into an unwitting gay, and John (The Best A Man Can Get) O'Farrell, with a predictably funny, surprisingly edgy confessional from a mime artist slowly going to the dogs. Other big names included are Helen Fielding, Robert Harries, Zadie Smith, Roddy Doyle, et al.
As with many of these projects, there is a slight feeling of incestuousness; Hornby actually admits that Harries is married to his sister, and that O'Farrell went to his school. But given the goodness of the cause, it's no real reason to quibble. --Sean Thomas
Speaking with the Angel is a collection of short stories, edited by Nick Hornby
Hear the Prime Minister explain to the House why he did a runner from Greenford Park service station and hitched a lift with a fifteen-year-old girl, as imagined by Robert Harris. Listen to someone who has a small hostile creature in his room, as told by Roddy Doyle.
Twelve voices, twelve completely new stories, narrated by twelve different characters. And all written by twelve of the most exciting and popular writers around: Robert Harris, Melissa Bank, Giles Smith, Patrick Marber, Colin Frith, Zadie Smith, Dave Eggers, Helen Fielding, Roddy Doyle, Irvine Welsh, John O'Farrell and Nick Hornby himself.
This sparkling collection has been put together by bestselling novelist Nick Hornby, who also contributes an Introduction about TreeHouse, an organisation that offers a unique and pioneering approach to the education of children with autism.1 will go to TreeHouse with every copy sold of Speaking with the Angel.
Nick Hornby, who edited this collection, is best known for his brilliantly observed, comic novels About a Boy, How to be Good, A Long Way Down, Juliet, Naked, Slam and High Fidelity. His three works of non-fiction, 31 Songs (shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Fever Pitch (winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award) and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree are also available from Penguin.