Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wednesday 29/10/14

You know when you’re born in a certain country and for some reason you have a massive issue with it and your only saving grace is that you don’t look typically like the rest of the population and you spend your early years, from ages six onwards, really, fantasising that you’re from somewhere else and were kidnapped as a young child and were brought there, then try to culturally appropriate other nations, starting with France, then the UK, then America, until you find yourself at 34 living 7,000 miles away from where you were brought up, with a different passport, a different name, a fake accent and not having spoken to person who grew up with the same mother tongue as you since 1997?
I have now received the results of the DNA test I recently did to discover my genetic / national ancestry. If we remember, I just wanted to have some Northern European DNA in me. I wanted to have some proof that I’d been adopted, and I wanted some explanation as to why I have blue eyes and pale skin and I’m not hirsute in a Middle Eastern way. I’m afraid I aimed too high. I’m afraid that I am, genetically speaking, the most Greek person that has ever lived on the planet. I’m afraid that my results are these:

I am only 0.5% “Broadly Northern European”. I am ready to die.
I am 74.3% Balkan (the peninsula where Greece is located) which is a pretty massive percentage, really fucking homogeneous, and a real shock result in a day and age where everyone is a mix of something. Not I. My ancestors appear to have only fucked people within a 10-mile radius and that’s about it. A further 12.9% of me is “Broadly Southern European” (which really means that they couldn’t identify which part of Greece that 12.9% comes from, let’s be honest) and there is also a 10.9% Italian, which I’m choosing to ignore because it’s only causing me to vomit uncontrollably.
Now, of course if I have to try to find a way to spin this, and I’m gonna, I can latch on to the modern Greek delusion that Ancient Greeks were fair, blond, and blue-eyed, and that the reason why Greeks look like they do now is a result of ethnic mixing with other (inferior) populations, and in particular Turks, who occupied Greece for 400 years, after all, and we’re pretty sure were fucking everyone left, right, and centre during that time. (I wouldn’t, because I’d rather die celibate than have sex with a Greek person, but those guys were weird).
Now, following on from this completely flawed logic (why would a population located in such a warm, Mediterranean climate be “fair”, for what is skin colour genetically, really, other than a reaction to the elements where the population is based?) and in coordination with my DNA results above (where I have 0% ancestry in the Middle East [Turkey], or any other ethnic population whatsoever, for that matter) there is just one conclusion I can reach. I am a purebred great descendent of Alexander The Great. The imaginary, blond one.
Is this better than being Northern European as I was desperately hoping? Definitely not. Is it better than being a genetic outcome of half a millennium of Turkish occupation? Probably yes. Will I use the sperm of whatever 6’1”+, blond, blue eyed partner I eventually get married to instead of mine to impregnate our surrogate, in order to forever banish my Greek DNA and avoid playing lottery with the eye colour of our children? Yes, yes, I will.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Thursday 16/10/14

The Independent did publish a review of my book in the end. Do you think they will mind if I copy the review here? Who can tell.

Will this make you buy the book? Probably not. It did make my Mum really happy and really proud though. Thanks, Independent.

And it made me happy, because it called me both highly intelligent and psychologically damaged in the same sentence. Who doesn't want that?

It also prompted my main boy TN to advise me that unfortunately if I want to sell any books, I probably have to write a novel filled with gay sex. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I will.

In the meantime here’s the review online and here it is copied and pasted below if clicking on that link is too much hard work.

Highlights of My Last Regret by North Morgan, book review: A Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century

Parke Hudson, the wealthy narrator of North Morgan’s second novel, closely resembles Maine in his first; he’s simply moved to Los Angeles.

The author has revealed that Parke is Maine’s son, though this works emotionally rather than temporally. It is business as usual in Morganland: high intelligence, deep self-loathing, and psychic damage combine in a dark morality tale.

The slender narrative concerns the push-pull of Parke’s relationship with his girlfriend Ryan. At 28 she is “five-and-half” years older than him, though you’d think it was at least couple of decades the way he goes on. Not only is she elderly, she comes from a “ranching background” – practically redneck as far as Parke is concerned. Surprising her at home in Albuquerque, Parke is amazed at how ordinary people live.

Like Maine, Parke holds down a job though he doesn’t need the money. A freelance games designer, he mainly sends clever emails to similarly embittered members of staff, and conducts low-level warfare against the new boss. “Oh how we loathe this guy. Theo Rothchild. No, not Rothschild, like the banking family … Never has a glorified middle manager originally from fucking Minnesota carried oneself [sic] around with such ceremony before.”

A series of wonderfully funny and appalling characters wander through this short novel. There’s Parke’s best friend Markus, who “looks like a crazed Nazi homosexual”. “Moneyed apathetic sociopaths … Markus has been my case study for that demographic throughout my life.” Perennially drug-addled, Markus’s  attempts to look after Frost, his new pedigree kitten, are as alarming as they are funny.

Dumping Ryan, Parke decamps to Coachella (deliciously described). Ryan’s pathetic attempts to monitor him via social media and texting make painful reading; I can’t recall a more devastating account of female neediness. For Ryan no capitulation is abject enough in return for male attention. But does she deserve rapey Parke? The story lurches to a halt with a shock ending which underlines the idea that Parke and Ryan are a Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century, where narcissism, solipsism and self-delusion have eroded the romantic ideal of love.

Despite being cold, snobbish and softly cruel, somehow, through his witty narration, Parke remains likeable. His vicious dismissals of Ryan’s family are hilarious, but the true satiric bite occurs when her brother turns on him. For once we get a glimpse of Parke from the outside, and it’s not pretty. This feels slightly less worked-out than his fine debut, Exit Through the Wound, but Morgan’s prose is as glitteringly alluring as before.

You can buy the book here

Kindle in the US (out now)

Kindle in the UK (out now)

Physical copy in the US (out 15th November)

Physical copy in the UK (out now)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday 02/10/14

On Monday at some point during the daytime, somewhere between slumber, sunbathing and depression, my friends DA and DJ message me and tell me about this website where you pay a bunch of cash, they send you a test kit to collect your DNA, you send it back, and 4-6 weeks later they send you an ancestry report, breaking down what your ethnic background is.

The list of potential results is:

Obviously, I immediately pay for this online.

I was born in Greece. As far as I know and as far as my parents know, all my ancestors are Greek. There is no reason whatsoever as to why the result will not come back as 95%+ Southern European.

As soon as I’ve ordered this, I text my friend Sterling.

Me: I have ordered a kit from a website that analyses your DNA via a sample of saliva and tells you which parts of the world your ancestry is from.

Sterling: I have heard of this thing. I am predicting 75% Greek, 25% bro.

Me: I am aiming for a Northern European result of 50%+. If I don’t get this, I will hang myself.

Sterling: Why are you putting yourself through this?

Me: I need more reason to self-loathe. But I also have a secret hope that I’m not genetically Greek

Sterling: Fingers crossed

Now we wait. What would you do if you had 4-6 weeks left to live?