The Work

Writing : Books

 Neil Bartlett has grabbed history by the collar and made bitter love to it - Edmund White.

Who Was That Man ?, Bartlett's first book, published in 1988, was a ground- and genre-breaking re-appraisal of one of his heroes ,Oscar Wilde. Part history, part polemic, part fantasia, it refracted the erotics and politics of  nineteenth century London's gay culture - high and low - through a highly personal meditation on Wilde's contemporary significance. His novels Ready To Catch Him Should He Fall , Mr Clive and Mr. Page  ,Skin Lane  and The Disappearance Boy have continued this project of using obsessively re-imagined "historic" voices  and worlds as the mouthpieces and settings of an impassioned and radical vision . Alternatively lyrical and confrontational, characteristically disquieting, they combine  a highly-charged  tenderness with an often dark eroticism.  

"A passionate attempt to fix what is essential in Oscar Wilde, fraud and martyr"- Adam Mars-Jones
"..this fantastic personal meditation on Oscar Wilde and the last hundred years of English homosexuality...Bartlett has embraced what was alien and criminal or merely clinical and loved it into poignant life." - Edmund White.

First published by Serpents Tail in 1998; republished by Penguin 1993.

"Tender, brutal, explicit,erotic and moving...a fictional debut of staggering assurance and ability"- Gay Times
"Profoundly moving and enriching. Bartlett has achieved what is almost impossible; he has written a novel about happy, successful love." - The Glasgow Herald

First published by Serpents Tail, 1990.
Translations; Dutch, 1991 ( Uitgevrij L.J.Veen B.V., Amsterdam) German, 1992, ( Forum Verlag, Leipzig) ,Italian, 1997 (Zoemedia s.r.l., Forli), French , 1999 ( Actes Sud), Spanish, 2003 ( Egales, Barcelona)

"A marvellous evocation of 1920's London..Compassionate, gentle, violent dynamic and a glorious page-turner"- Ruth Rendell
"Harrowingly, weirdly sexy;  compulsively readable" -Edmund White

First published by Serpents Tail, 1996.
Published in US by Dutton, 1997, as THE HOUSE ON BROOKE STREET
Translations; German, 1999 ( btb Taschenbucher, Munich)French, 2000 ( Actes Sud),Spanish, 2001 ( www.muchnik.com )

"Skin Lane is a fiendishly taut little psycho-shocker that recalls Simenon at his most hardboiled and Highsmith at her creepiest. It made the hairs rise on the back of my neck and I still can't get them down again. " Will Self.

"I read Skin Lane with one eye closed out of sheer animal terror. Then, unimagineably, it brought me to tears. What a work of art - so unexpected and heartbreaking and lovely " Armitstead Maupin


Published  March 2007 by Serpents Tail.

Shortlisted for Costa Novel Award 2008

Translations; as Rue de la Peau, by Actes Sud, France, 2008

Published August 2014 by Bloomsbury. Bartlett's fourth novel earnt him a nomination as Stonewall Author of the Year alongside Srah Waters and Armitsread Maupin.

Bartlett has also published several short stories, and written newspaper and magazine articles on subjects ranging from Pina Bausch to Racine to the prehistory of British gay culture. For a full bibliography, please go to the BIBLIOGRAPHY in ABOUT NEIL