Somerville alumnus to release debut novel

21st June 2016

alexAlex Starritt, who came to Somerville in 2004 to read German and History, will be releasing his debut novel, The Beast.

The Beast, will be published by Head of Zeus in late Spring 2017.  “The novel is set in the rambunctious world of tabloid journalism,’ explained Starritt. ‘Against the backdrop of newspapers’ terminal decline, it shows the still-bullish workings of paranoia and sensationalism and how newspapers create news in reporting it. I think of it as the last roar of a mortally wounded monster.”

Head of Zeus acquired the novel in May of this year and stated on their website: ‘The fearsome professionalism and manic rivalries of a newsroom have rarely been so well described. This is a compelling novel in which comedy teeters on the edge of horror.’

Starritt, who joined The Daily Mail shortly after graduating from Oxford University, went on to write reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, the Spectator and the Mail on Sunday, and his short fiction has been shortlisted for the Paris Literary Prize.

He is currently working as freelance translator and writer in London. His second translation, of Arthur Schnitzler’s Late Fame, came out with Pushkin Press last year; and he previously released Stefan Zweig’s Chess Story, also with Pushkin Press in 2013.

Earlier this month, Alex revisited the College to give a seminar on translation. ‘I was bound to think of Larkin’s poem, Dockery and Son, about visiting his old college some twenty years after leaving,’ said Starritt, ‘It’s the one where he says things like “Life is first boredom, then fear.” By contrast, I had rather a good time.’


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