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A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell

A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell

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By Young Kim

'A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell 
is a forensic dissection of the author’s intense sexual relationship with a charismatic, frustrating, talented man, and you won’t have read anything quite like it. It’s breathtakingly frank, clear-eyed and gripping. We should all be grateful that Young Kim is able to write about the risks and delights of desire without fear or shame – and in cool prose that avoids the color purple and all shades of grey.' Nick Hornby

'A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell, a first-time author’s account of her affair with Richard Hell...  described in sentences that are at once clipped and conversational... has become a cult word-of-mouth hit among artists and writers.' The New York Times

'I found the book so engrossing; I really did read it in one sitting' Bret Easton Ellis

'Sex, fashion, celebrities, travel - in the midst of all this swirling glamour and erotic experimentation is the attentive eye of a discerning young woman.' Edmund White

A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell is the critically acclaimed début memoir by Young Kim. The book explores a liberated woman’s erotic experience in a clandestine affair without the clichéd political and cultural stereotypes of modern gender roles. It has garnered accolades from none other than Bret Easton Ellis, Greil Marcus, Matthew D’Ancona, Michael Bracewell and Helen Rumbelow of The Times.

A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell is a completely truthful and explicit account about the first ten months of a romantic affair Kim conducted with legendary punk rocker and writer, Richard Hell, starting in the winter of 2016. It is unique in that while it is a diary, in its cinematic sweep, it reads like a novel. Because it was written as the unpredictable affair unfolded, there was always great uncertainty to the realization of this “daybook-cum-docudrama.”

Known for his own erotic writing, Hell instigated the book inadvertently by asking Kim to write something sexually provocative about their first night together. What resulted was an erotic relationship fueled not only by carnal chemistry but also literary synergy. Unusually, in this instance, Hell, a man, a generation older than Kim, acted as her muse; equally unusual is for a woman to write so explicitly and honestly about sex.

Set in a Warholian swirl in the worlds of art, music, and fashion, spanning continents, the narrative is as much about Kim’s processing her grief for Malcolm McLaren (most famous for his role as the conceptualizer, art director, and manager of the Sex Pistols, as well as designing the punk style with his then-partner Vivienne Westwood), her romantic and business partner for the last 12 years of his life until his untimely death in 2010.

The design of the book, by Studio Marie Lusa, is an homage to Olympia Press, the notorious Parisian publisher of erotic and banned books like LolitaThe Story of ONaked Lunch and Alexander Trocchi’s Helen and Desire, which was the inspiration behind one of McLaren’s iconic punk designs for SEX: the “I Groaned With Pain” T-shirt.

This second edition has been printed to the highest standards (gold embossing, sewn binding, good-quality paper) by Normandie Roto Impression which today prints the prestigious in an area in France historically known for printing some of literature’s most legendary books including Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal.

Though this means that the book is slightly more expensive (the price of a cappuccino) than a typical paperback book, Kim believes this is more than justified for two reasons she feels passionately about: the reader can derive pleasure from the book’s quality and beauty; and it will last and can be treasured, instead of being disposed of and adding more garbage to the world.

Publication Date: 03.11.2024
ISBN: 9798985378177
Extent: 254 pages
Format: Paperback

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