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I knew what I had to do. Find Stewart Home, the skinhead author of the latest literary outrage, Slow Death, and hit him HARD with bone-crunching questions. Not only is Home the warped talent behind a half dozen fictional books. He is also infamous in London's counter-culture as a media prankster. Slow Death, his most recent offering, suggests a brutal humour and vibrant sense of satire. But beyond that there have been ugly rumours that the crop-top writer is becoming a hot item in Europe and America. It was obvious this geezer needed a conversational kicking I thought, as I slipped into my Fred and laced up my cherry reds. I finally tracked Home down at his council flat lair by Brick Lane. "Right you bastard", I hissed, as Home came to the door, "let's see some action...." I rolled up the sleeves of my Harrington and unsheathed my Biro. Home didn't flinch. "Give me the facts," I urged, "and fast." Home offers me a cup of tea instead. "Oh right two sugars, please," I mumble as the baby-faced boot boy serves up the brew.

Born in South London, Home has lived in the East End for much of his adult life, a fact that gives his books their gritty tone. Solidly working class, Home dropped out of university, dabbled in punk rock and eventually launched himself into an East London scene of class war politics, radical art and squat culture in the mid 80s. Home busied himself with publishing titles like Smile magazine, promoting the Neoist art group and developing a fast paced fiction style that took its cue from trash write maestro Richard Allen, author of such late 70s classics as Skinhead and Sorts. Mixing hilariously over-the-top storylines of sex and violence with esoteric ramblings on culture and politics, Home set the pace with his first book, Pure Mania, in 1989. Since then he has won accolades from the Gay Times, their literary editor claiming No Pity as The Book of 1993, and contributed to countless newspapers and magazines. Most recently, he appeared in the USA supporting post-punk voodoo queen Lydia Lunch.

"I'm also very big in Finland," says the thirty something Home who toured the country last year. What attracts the punters, you suspect, is Home's tough nut image and the amplified scuzz of his writing. But is it Pulp fiction or something more than lowlife adventures? "It should be pretty obvious that my books play with styles and forms," says Home, although he is dismissive of critics who say his work is offensive. "Offensive? I hope so... No, a lot of the sex is about smells and tastes and body fluids but I'm also inverting a lot of codes of that type of hardcore writing. In Slow Death it's the hero who becomes the sex object. Instead of a woman with curves in al the right places, here's a man with bulges in all the right places."

Vilified by the literary establishment, Home sees himself as pioneering a form of writing that goes against the grain of high culture. "It's as though there is ‘good writing’ and a complete dismissal of writers like Richard Allen - that's the stuff the proles read, so it must be bad somehow."

Now in the process of fine tuning a new book, provisionally titled Blow Job, Home's hard working schedule leaves little time for the myth of the suffering writer wrestling with his or her muse. "you just get on with it," says Home. "All that stuff about the tortured genius is just bollocks."

Likely to remain an East End boy for some time yet despite his acceleration towards world domination, Home's musings on Hegel, the finer detail of Finnish rock n' roll and eco-fascism finally beat me into submission.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro," said Hunter S Thompson. Stewart Home has only just got going. Beware……

This clearly dates from 1996, we're unsure where it appeared.

Note added by Space Bunny circa 1999: That seems an odd ending to an interview perhaps there is more. If you want us to find it for you then get in touch.

Note added by Stewart Home September 2006: Nik Houghton was an early and very vocal supporter of my work. I first came into contact with him in 1986 when he reviewed my (and others) Ruins of Glamour exhibition at Chisenhale Studios for the art press. He went on to give my first novel Pure Mania an OTT favourable review in Time Out, and his public support of me was ongoing as this mid-nineties piece shows. Since we lived close to each other for much of the last twenty years, we also socialised together, although unfortunately only infrequently over the last five years of Nik's life. Nik was funny and good to be around; I knew he suffered periods of depression but when these descended he kept to himself, so I never saw him on anything other than top form. It really saddened me when I learnt of Nik's suicide earlier this year...

Stewart Home interviewed about art and politics


Stewart Home in a subway

Stewart Home seen here in a subway beneath the Poplar side of The Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach Road in east London.