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The Ambivalents
Published by Cabinet Books as part of their 24-Hour Book Series
July 2017

The Ambivalents

The book The Ambivalents was created and designed in one twenty-four-hour period. For this exercise in authorial constraint, O'Reilly was asked to consider a found document revealed to her a day in advance - the 1986 catalogue for Braintree Scientific, an American company that manufactures lab products used in experiments on rats and mice. The result was dozens of letters to the company from a range of characters, including an artist, a literary critic, a dissatisfied customer, several schoolchildren and a man who, like the animals featured in the catalogue, is perhaps close to death.

Image: a collage of photographs of rats' eyes, made at approximately 3am.

For more information about The Ambivalents and its sister book - Take Care by Jeff Dolven, which was written concurrently, and from the same prompt - as well as a PDF of the catalogue that provided the prompt, visit the Cabinet website, here.


A novel
Published by Eros Press
Oct 2016

Crude cover

In a country called Academia, art critic Ida O'Dewey is at the top of her game –
until she misjudges the limit between satire and irresponsibility, live on radio.
She must retrieve her public reputation and avoid professional extinction,
but sources of power and methods of persuasion are never clear-cut.
An enigmatic group of radical sensualists, with an occult attraction to a glossy
black substance and a deep contempt for mainstream conceptualism,
present a possible way out. This stuff called 'oil', Ida intuits, could be the
perfect subject for a block-busting thesis.

Crude relates the non-sequiturs and irrational connections that make up
a complex society, where even the most specialised and experienced cannot
profess to be in control of their immediate future.

Read the prologue and first chapter of Crude.

Cover image:
Brian Griffiths, some basic treatment, 2016