Lecturer publishes new novel
23rd May 2013
The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub, the second novel by University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing lecturer D.D. Johnston, is now available to pre-order from retailers including Amazon and Waterstones.
The novel, to be published in June, was originally written as a doctoral thesis at the University of Gloucestershire. It’s presented as a PhD that’s been written by an eccentric, love-sick student, who is supervised by an even more eccentric professor. It asks big questions about the limits of free will, how social change is possible, and the pitfalls of Kantian metaphysics. It interweaves fact and fiction, plays with ‘fraudulent artifacts’ (to borrow the phrase coined by David Shields and Matthew Vollmer), quotes psychology papers, and satirises our socio-historical moment. It crashes around the twentieth century, trying to write history in a way that recognises the interminable chain of cause and effect. But it’s also a campus novel that’s full of laughs and scandal and appalling behaviour. It’s a big historical epic that charts the rise and fall of revolutionary optimism. And above all else, it’s a love story.
Barbican Press is a new publishing venture based in London and Hull. Its directors are Martin Goodman – award winning author of fiction and non-fiction, and BBC New Generation Thinker – and James Thornton – the CEO of Client Earth, whom New Statesman named as one of ten people who can change the world. The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub will launch Barbican Press’s Doctored Books series: novels written in universities as part of PhD creative writing programmes. They say: ‘We’re looking for modern classics – books so different they can always seem new. Books that rose to so many challenges they forgot to compromise. Books with minds of their own for readers with minds of their own. If you’re a reader who doesn’t need pandering to, whose life has been shaped by books that dared to be different – welcome to your new home!’ You can follow Barbican Press’s evolution on Facebook.
D.D. Johnston lives in Cheltenham and works at the University of Gloucestershire, where he is a University Teaching Fellow and a lecturer in Creative Writing. You can read his Q&A about the new book on the Barbican Press website. He is currently trying, and failing, to understand the world of social media; he blogs at ddjohnston.org, and you can follow him on twitter @dd_johnston