Stewart Home (born 1963) is an English writer, satirist and artist. He is best known for novels such as the non-narrative "69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess" (2002), his re-imagining of the 1960s in "Tainted Love" (2005), and more recent books such as "Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane" (2013) that use pulp and avant-garde tropes to parody conventional literature. His unusual approach to writing is reflected in the readings he gives from his novels: he recites from memory, utilises ventriloquism, stands on his head and declaims his work and even shreds his own books at public appearances.
Home's first books appeared in the late nineteen-eighties. "The Assault on Culture: Utopian currents from Lettrisme to Class War" (Aporia Press and Unpopular Books, London, 1988), written when Home was twenty-five, is an underground art history sketching coninuations of dadist and surrealist ideas and influences on post-World War II fringe radical art. This book is considered a useful art-historical work, providing an introduction to a range of cultural currents which had, at least at that time, been under-documented.
Home's first novel "Pure Mania" was published 1989 (Polygon Books), and details a neo-punk subculture obsessed with sex and violence. Influenced by surrealism and the nouveau roman it pushes the appropriation of pulp tropes and use of repetition found within historical avant-garde fiction to such an extreme that some critics mistook it for a piece of low-brow writing. Home continued in much the same vein with his next four novels. For example, Terry Blake the main character in Home's second novel "Defiant Pose" (Peter Owen, 1991) is a skinhead who gets his kicks from reciting passages of political prose by writers such as Karl Marx while being given blow jobs.
Having issued his first two novels with literary publishers, Home’s third "Red London" was put out by the political activist operation AK Press. Home’s fourth novel "Blow Job" (published in 1997 but written in 1994) and his next few books were issued by literary publisher Serpent’s Tail. However it was at this point that Home’s novels started to appear in an order that differed from the sequence they were written in.
All Home’s early fiction collages in large amounts of prose from a wide variety of sources – and while it is often close in spirit to the work of ‘post-modern extremists’ such as Kathy Acker, the appropriated material is much more heavily reworked than in the latter’s books.
The novels Home's wrote after 1995 featured less subcultural material than his earlier books and instead more obviously focused on issues of form and aesthetics. Home’s sixth novel "Come Before Christ And Murder Love" (Serpent's Tail 1997 - published before his fourth novel "Blow Job") featured a schizophrenic narrator whose personality changed every time he had an orgasm and there is a lot of sex in the book. This was the first novel Home wrote in the first person, and much of the fiction he wrote after this utilised the device of an unreliable first-person narrator. "69 Things to Do With A Dead Princess" (Canongate 2002) also contains capsule reviews of dozens of obscure books as well as elaborate descriptions of stone circles, while in "Down and Out In Shoreditch & Hoxton" (Do Not Press 2004) every paragraph is exactly 100 words long.
Home’s 2010 novel "Blood Rites of the Bourgeois" (Book Works) is to date his only work written in the second person. The plot – as far as there is one - concerns an artist hacking the computers of London’s cultural elite to infect them with modified penis enlargement spam. Reviewing Home’s most recently published novel "Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane" (Penny-Ante Editions 2013) for The Guardian, Nicholas Lezard observes: “I think one of the great virtues of Home's work is the way it forces us to address our own complacency.”