Anything That Moves
From being caught having their first orgasm by their mum’s best friend to being stalked and propositioned by a fundamentalist pastor; from soliciting spanking dates over the Internet to scoring a coveted invitation to a threesome with some elf fetishist neighbours, art rock darling (Xiu Xiu) Jamie Stewart’s journey of fleshy self-discovery and queer awakening makes for an extraordinary, cringy, unputdownable epic in miniature, burning always with radical and often shocking self-criticism.
A one-of-a-kind exploration of abasement, depravity, joy, and embarrassment (and even joy in embarrassment), Anything That Moves is a series of comic, tragic X-rays of sex. It is funny, erotic, anti-erotic, honest, brave, icky, and hauntingly sad by turns. It demonstrates too how love and forgiveness can percolate around the edges of even the most traumatic relationships.
Stewart’s band Xiu Xiu has been called ‘self-flagellating’, ‘brutal’, ‘shocking’ and ‘perverse’, but also ‘genius’, ‘brilliant’, ‘unique’, ‘imaginative’ and ‘luminous’. Readers can expect nothing less from Anything That Moves.Read an Excerpt
- Pre-order to get signed bookplates.
- You can read Jamie Stewart’s interview with Fifteen Questions here.
- Jamie Stewart talks to The Quietus about their favourite music here.
- Forbes spoke to Jamie Stewart about the inspiration behind Anything That Moves – you can read the interview here.
- You can read The Wire’s interview with Xiu Xiu about their latest album here.
- Find out more about Xiu Xiu on their website, here.
‘As I would have put it at the peak of my Xiu Xiu fandom: yesssssssssssssssssssssss.’
‘A tragicomic depiction of how Stewart used sex to cope with deep – and even tragic – family dysfunction. At the beginning, Stewart offers a telling author’s note: “If we are related, please, for the love of God, do not read this book.” A powerfully erotic memoir.’
‘Jamie Stewart wraps up the first kiss-and-tell story in this tome, “but I also put my dick into a vacuum cleaner hose, so being on thee fuck list didn’t mean much”. Damn! But after you dig in, it’s nowhere near as cold-blooded as that. Not exactly tender but so truthful and present in the timeline. Sexual antics try to kick off in very young pre-erection childhood, and there’s a polemic in daring express child hyper-sexuality in this reality where the spectre of the child purity is held up. But possibly safe in the first person. How to tell your mother you feel odd because the neighbour child spunked in your butthole? Sometimes the deepest thinking is when the veil of allusion is lifted, and boners fail, third wheels are not as advertised. Sexual identity is fluid and casual, there is no poly-pan agenda. Stewart digs into the situations that are horny and evolve into meaningful relationships (or not), but doesn’t leave out the nugget of truth when hardcore masochism reveals itself to be unhinged self harm. Impressively this is revealed without judgement. Maybe one incident of anal brutality but always back to pleasure. Not to give away the punchline but even my jaded self almost puked in a rimming encounter, “I’d licked a tapeworm out of her ass.” Revelations and a deeper love and admiration for the man, I picked myself up and rinsed myself off. There are no Daddy Issues in these stories but if that chapter unfolds, it better fucking be me.’
‘Jamie Stewart smears themself across every page like a sexorcism on bad acid. Deviant. Down and dirty. Get your freak on. Then wash your hands.’
‘On its surface, Anything That Moves would appear to be a book about Jamie Stewart’s sexual history, but I found – as is the case in Jamie’s work with Xiu Xiu – that it is more of a delineation of the most hidden and forbidden parts of our subconscious, and the complicated and insane ways we relate to ourselves and each other.’
‘Jamie Stewart has become my favourite literary figurine with their tasty memoir Anything That Moves. Move over Denton Welch and Monique Wittig there’s a new lovesexy kid on the block.’
Booksellers on Anything That Moves
‘An ecstatic ritual purging of all the weird sex, abject humiliation, visceral, bone-deep sadness, and sheer laughing-in-the-face-of-it-all that a human life can accumulate in the course of a few decades spent on this earth. For Stewart to have rendered so compellingly on the page an exercise as profoundly uncomfortable as this one is a remarkable feat, and I was absolutely here for it. One for the freaks.’ Ollie Simpson, Pages of Hackney
‘I remember when I first heard Xiu Xiu over 15 years ago and from page one, reading Jamie Stewart's Anything That Moves brought me right back to that feeling. This book is honest, very funny and like all of Stewart's work, it holds both a tender vulnerability while also deeply, truly not giving a fuck what you think. Perfect.’ Liz Freeman, East Bay Booksellers
‘An eternally underrated facet of Jamie Stewart’s oeuvre is his instinct for the nauseously hilarious, delivered with shocking candour, which comes through clearer than ever in Anything That Moves. It should be read while on the make, drinking continuously and irresponsibly.’ Michael Abraham, Book Culture
‘Fans of lauded experimental band Xiu Xiu know exactly what they're in for with Jamie Stewart's memoir, but for the uninitiated – this book is an outrageous force of lunatic bravery. An onslaught of confessions about desire in all of its messy forms, it jumps effortlessly from caustic to tender, gross to hypnotic, straightforward to subversive. Like so much of Stewart's work, Anything That Moves dares you to blink first, but will reward you if you don't.’ Josie Smith-Webster, Greenlight Bookstore
‘A scintillating and sultry selection of shorts that left me in a wonderful limbo between shock and awe.’ David Kelly, Blackwell’s, Oxford