Date of release: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dr Pheby"Brilliant, compelling and profoundly disturbing" is how University of Greenwich lecturer Dr Alex Pheby's novel Playthings has been described in the Literary Review.

Author and Creative Writing programme leader Alex Pheby gets inside the head of a 19th century German judge who went mad at the age of 42 and became one of Freud's case studies.

Playthings, which explores facism and the abuse of institutional power through the experience of real life schizophrenic Daniel Paul Schreber, has been described by reviewer David Collard as 'arguably the best neuronovel ever written', the sub-genre focused on mental disorders.

"But," he adds: "…it transcends any such category and is simply a superb novel tout court, Kafkaesque in its nightmarish fluency and a powerful exposition of Kant's celebrated view that 'the madman is a waking dreamer'." (Literary Review November 2015.)

Dr Pheby, a member of the university's Faculty for Architecture, Computing & Humanities, says: "I'm delighted with the response to my second novel and hope it does well for Galley Beggar Press, the best publisher in the country."

Dr Zoë Pettit, Head of the Department of Literature, Language & Theatre, says: "Many congratulations to Alex – we are proud of his achievement, which is well-deserved. Our students are fortunate to be learning from someone with first-hand experience of what it takes to become a successful writer.

"Alex has been instrumental in growing our Creative Writing provision and this is set to expand further. With a new playwriting lecturer and our Writer in Residence, too, we are very excited about the emerging opportunities for students."

Publisher Galley Beggar Press calls the novel "an intense and poetic exploration about what it means to be human. It will shake you to the bone." Galley Beggar also publish Paul Ewen, author of acclaimed comic novel Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author. Paul Ewen is currently Writer in Residence at the university.

For information about degrees in creative writing, English literature and more, go to: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/about/faculty/ach/study/llt/programmes

Story by Public Relations