Tim Etchells is an artist and writer based in Sheffield and London. His work shifts between performance, visual art, and writing, and is presented in a wide variety of contexts, from museums and galleries to festivals and public sites. Since 1984, he has been the leader of the ground-breaking, world-renowned Sheffield performance group Forced Entertainment, winners of the 2016 International Ibsen Award. His work in visual art has been shown in institutions including Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery, and Witte de With (Rotterdam), whilst his performances – either solo, with Forced Entertainment, or in collaboration with other artists, choreographers, and musicians – have been presented in venues including the Barbican Centre, Centre Pompidou Paris, Volksbühne Berlin, Tanzquartier Wien (Vienna) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, to name a few. His public site commissions have included projects for Times Square (New York), Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 and Glastonbury festival. Etchells has developed a unique voice in writing fiction and is currently Professor of Performance and Writing at Lancaster University.
'Abandon all soap, ye who enter here; you won’t stay clean in “Endland.” A squalidly funny collection of short stories set in the ruined fairground of Brexit Britain, these “postcards from hell” present parochial filth as mock epic. . . . Etchells’s depravity may smell like Johnny Rotten but his linguistic flair comes from Joyce and Burgess.'
‘This book is dangerous. This book tells it like it was & is.’
'[Endland] is horrible, brilliant, deliberately provoking. At times I wished it was over; now I wish it had never stopped.'
The Observer New Review
Etchells makes sparks fly by allowing the mythic to rub against everyday existence ... scorching, bitter satire of how society is screwed by inequality. A cracklingly original voice.
'An incisive commentary on the current social and political omnishambles. This essential book is just what we need right now, and more than we deserve.'
'Etchells’s stories deliver a difficult, darkly funny, sharp critique of modern England, and live up to indie rock veteran Jarvis Cocker’s description in his introduction: “They are frightening, but they’re also necessary.'
'A politically charged and graphic portrait of Western societies hanging on by a thread … incisive.'
'A very strong tincture of the present moment, which of course it never mentions. No book is even remotely like it.'
‘Etchells has made a tough, eloquent, emotional new language of ideas about class, human fragility, lust, embarrassment and a good night out. He is a legend.’
‘It insists on being read, at once, and probably out loud.’
M. John Harrison
‘Tim Etchells' sense of humour – black, bleak and yet, against both odds and reason, somehow warm, empathic and compassionate – is all over these stories of a country that's been living inside our own for some time now.’
‘Relentlessly unpredictable, Etchells’ genius leaves nothing untouched – you will be panting and laughing and gagging for more.’
‘Wonderful and horrible. Biker gangs and diminished gods, ruins and social collapse. Do not despair: the language is as rich as it is faltering, the tone as stoical as it is hilarious.’
Jeremy M. Davies
‘If Derek Jarman, Spike Milligan, J. G. Ballard, and Mark E Smith had all survived to frolic together in the ruins of theme-park Britain . . . if the world contained such wonders as a Hell's Angel named UNESCO and a deity sorely in need of a good #MeTooing . . . then every one of these parties would be lining up to flog Endland (sic) as the long-awaited solution to the last word in pub-quiz brain-teasers: “WHY IS MODERN LIFE SO RUBBISH?”’
'Endland is an uppercase book, a confidential shout, an ear punch, a textual road trip between orality and literacy.'
'As England totters like drunk towards its cliff edge, Tim Etchell’s exquisite dystopia Endland (sic) feels like a necessary balm. It's as though Jonathan Swift met Mark E Smith and together they set about collecting an anthology of cautionary tales for a country in the paroxysms of violent delusion and arrogant despair. It is as linguistically explosive as it is formally inventive as it is politically astute as it is humane. I have never lived in a moment when our country has needed its satirists more. None has delivered with more imagination and force than Tim Etchells does with Endland.'
'I love Tim Etchells for his apocalyptic vision, his piercing satire, his surreal poetry, but first and foremost for his wit. In Endland, he shines a fierce light on the age of anxiety and delusion we have stumbled into.’
Booksellers on Endland
'This is a new bible for our times, of narcissistic despot gods and broken humans, their condition leading them on an endless search for love via LOLs, moments of medieval barbarity and pant-shitting fear. It is a glorious, triumphant collection of tales for us all.’ Henry Layte, The Book Hive, Norwich
Praise for the 1999 collection Endland Stories
‘Surreal, compulsive… probably the most original and unsettling read you’re likely to have this year.’ The Big Issue
‘The scenery is taken straight from a low-budget Blade Runner… brilliantly welds together archaic language with computer-speak to create a funny, caustic collection.’ The Times
‘Reads as if written by one of Anthony Burgess’s more gifted Clockwork Orange droogs.’ The Guardian
‘The best yet from the pulpsters!’ Jeff Noon
‘Though his theme is the state of the nation, Etchells has little time for the new realism of the last few years, placing himself instead in the tradition of Ballard and Moorcock. Hacking up our comforters – TV cartoons, mythologies, children’s toys and board games – he deftly strips away the sentimental wadding we use as insulation from reality. A dance through the ruins of modern Britain… Etchells takes a Sadean delight in casual cruelty, creating a flippant and contorted technomedieval world whose gods are named Tesco and Blowjob, the spectre of real lives and real suffering is uncannily present.’ Attitude