Duncan Fallowell  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Duncan Fallowell (born 1948 in London) is a British writer of fiction and non-fiction. His novels are Satyrday (1986), The Underbelly (1987) and A History of Facelifting (2003). He has written the travel books To Noto (1989) and One Hot Summer in St Petersburg (1994) and the biography of a transsexual April Ashley’s Odyssey (1982). Fallowell is also a cultural commentator and journalist who has specialised in interview-portraits of unusual or celebrated personalities. A collection of these has been published as 20th Century Characters (1994) and two further volumes are planned.

Over the years he has worked extensively with the avant garde music group Can. While living in St Petersburg he wrote the libretto for the opera Gormenghast, inspired by Mervyn Peake’s trilogy, the music for which was composed by Can’s keyboardist Irmin Schmidt. Fallowell had already written two albums of songs with Schmidt, Musk at Dusk (1987) and Impossible Holidays (1991).

One academic has described Fallowell’s work as ‘staggeringly innovative’, another as having a high style which combines the intellectual and the baroque with a modern demotic smartness. Graham Greene did not like his first novel but thought it belonged to the 21st century. William Burroughs relished his books and Camille Paglia has described them as ‘mordant, energetic and outrageous’.

Fallowell is based in London but continues to travel abroad and spend periods in Herefordshire. After time in New Zealand, his travel book Going As Far As I Can will be published in 2008. He is currently working on his fourth novel.

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