The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Please welcome to the world … Audrey Szasz Counterillumination (Amphetamine Sulphate)


Audrey Szasz’s prose is as beautiful and stark as her subject matter is provocative and perverse. Her books are an explosive fusion of the sublime, the seductive and the psychopathic. An author of virtuosic violation and subversive brilliance, Szasz is the best writer of her generation.
—Steve Finbow

Szasz’s dark imagination – brutal scenes of sadism – is matched by her intimidatingly brilliant writing. Her worlds are cold and haunted, with humour piquing at the most bizarre and depraved moments. Surreal, unique and darkly hypnotic.
—Thomas Moore



Audrey Szasz


“The long-awaited third novel from a truly untamed literary talent.”

402 pages. Released May 2023 via Amphetamine Sulphate.

“Audrey Szasz’s epic third novel is her most ambitious trip yet. A 400-page psychic assault course journeying through the delirious present and harrowed hellscapes of futures past. This truly encyclopaedic outsider vision of ecstasy and, until now, unimaginable horror will surely warp your pretty little mind forever.”

File under: Sex (Deviant). Violence (Frequent). Psychology (Experimental). Literature (Radical). Counter (Illumination).

We can confidently say you will have never read anything remotely like this before.

CAUTION: Adult Themes throughout


US edition (perfect bound) via Amphetamine Sulphate online store:

UK edition (hardback) distributed by Cargo Records:





Text excerpts:






Audrey Szasz (aka Zutka) is a London-based writer. She is the author of the novels Counterillumination (2023), Zealous Immaculate (2022), and Tears of a Komsomol Girl (2020). Published by Infinity Land Press (2019), Plan for the Abduction of J.G. Ballard (a collaboration with Jeremy Reed) was her debut in print, which was followed by her first novella Invisibility: A Manifesto (2020) released by Amphetamine Sulphate.

Instagram: @szasz_audrey




p.s. Hey. This weekend the blog has been happily commandeered for the purpose of giving a big, warm worldly welcome to the new novel by literary wiz kid, maestro, and phenom Audrey Szasz. A most noble and exciting cause. Thus, give whatever you consider your all to exploring the available evidence on this wonderful occasion, and, ideally, get the book itself. She’s a fantastic scribe to say the very least. Thanks! ** A, Uh, I have dated guys into the occult, but because my interest in the Crowley-style occult is very small, they quickly learned to save that talk for their other friends. Happy you’re happy, natch. Zac and I are around for the duration editing the film as of Monday, so just let us know the specifics of the King Kong thing and we can work ourselves into the arrangement. Thanks! ** Misanthrope, I think I had a Davy Jones crush too. I think that was pretty common. We have a three-day weekend here too, but I think it’s because of some other thing, maybe a religious thing. Oh, right, you were trying to play the guitar, I remember. Well, stick to those guns this time. Go to open mics and sing folk songs. Max out the extra day. ** _Black_Acrylic, Oh, yeah, I guess dolls are a thing. If I’d remembered that, I would have nixed that post in the cradle, contrary me. Stand by your team, man. But, yeah, ugh, season of sorrow. ** David Ehrenstein, There’s also the fact that, apart from being an ongoing icon, he hadn’t made anything even remotely great in more than 40 years. And he was 96 years old. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Oh, wow, enjoy Vienna, although I guess I’ll see you again before then. How exciting! Yes, if I have any say in it, love will be at the ready and sitting on your shoulder like a little invisible doll while you’re there. ImBack, you’ve got it. I just have to go re-find him and talk him into it and get him to Paris somehow and drop him off at the FedEX office. No sweat. Oh, god, I’m going to be really obvious and boring and saintly and ask love for a Putin voodoo doll. I think I have to turn that love prospect around and ask you the same thing: voodoo doll who?, G. ** Mark, Hi. I wonder why no one has ever published Darger’s novel. Well, it’s many thousands of pages, so there’s that. But I read parts of it ages ago, and it was pretty exciting. ** tomk, Hi! Oh, yes, she did. A few times. Most recently one of her students told me that she tells her students that the worst thing they possibly could do is write like me. Ha ha. Thanks about ‘MLT’. It’s one of my very favorite novels of mine as you probably know. And, yes, that Sue De Beer is my favorite book cover of mine ever. And its dreary paperback cover is my least favorite ever. You’re sick? Change of seasons thing? Feel infinitely better starting right now please. ** Kettering, Hi. Thank you for saying and thinking that. ** Bernard Welt, Ah ha! Makes sense. Yeah, that Doug Lang collection is such a joy. I’d read poems by him here and there, but seeing a bunch of his work together really makes you realise how good and wild he was. Though very different, there’s something Elmslie-ish about his work in that sense. Ange’s book is beautiful, you should definitely get it. He’s wonderful in the film, or will be and was wonderful in the shooting. UK, so close. Well, December-January is quite possibly the best time to be in Paris, as you probably know. Its beauty is at its beautiest. So come! ** Tea, Ah, you have an anti-Disneyland partner. Dump him! Ha ha, kidding. So, what concert? ** Nick., Hi. No sweat about the multi-comments, I like repetition, especially with slight variations like your pile up had. I concur that that is a positive difference. And telling. And more promising than the alternative. I’m still trying to remember what I was thinking when I wrote ‘Orange’ all these decades later, so that’s something. Sweet and spicy? That’s harder. I can think of sweet, and I can think of spicy, but I can’t combine them and come up with anything. Well, or anything that isn’t embarrassingly X-rated. I’ll need to sleep on that one, sorry. For some reason I’ve been listening to this one song by Guided by Voices (my favorite band) constantly for two weeks, but I don’t think it’ll make you think of a boy necessarily although it might make you forget about a boy because it’s called ‘Face Eraser’. ** Right. Be as fully with Audrey Szasz as you can be until I see you next on Monday.


  1. Dominik


    What a treat this weekend! This book looks amazing – which isn’t surprising at all. Thank you!

    Thank you; that’s really all I can ask for (or more, even) – love’s company. I’ll still be here on Monday, and then I’ll probably be gone for a few days, but I’ll let you know about the specifics as they become facts.

    Not a big deal, right? Getting ImBack over here, haha.

    You know, as obvious and boring and saintly as it is, I also have to say Putin. I really can’t think of anyone else who’d deserve it more. (Although I could name a few runners-up.) Maybe if we coordinate our rituals, he really won’t stand a chance.

    Love trying to understand the hype about the Barbie film that isn’t even out yet, Od.

  2. Tea

    God, I’ve been thinking about how much I need to get this book for a week or so. I will do it soon!!! I just got Your Dreams by Thomas Moore from Amphetamine Sulphate–loved it.

    I think it’s mostly the sheer number of people that would be at Disneyland than Disneyland itself. But yeah I know…I should consider dumping him, ha ha. I’m going to see Shawn James who, honestly, I don’t know much about. The guy opening for him (Troy Baker) is the main attraction as I’ve had a weird fascination with him for about a decade. I very much detest his music, so it should be interesting.

  3. Lawrence Patti

    Brilliant book. Audrey stole the show at the AS 5-year anniversary event last year looking very much like Patti Smith and having an excellent naughty British schoolgirl delivery. Can’t wait for her next one.

  4. A

    Yeah, I can see you eye rolling out of your head when someone mentions the occult! Here’s the simple details with the magazine: 1. Zac or a Paris photographer friend need to shoot you or shoot both of you. 2. MCormack needs to do the interview with both of you. 3. Your deadline is early August for final text and photos before we print.
    So just submit it all when you have it before deadline: August 10th. Ciao 😉

  5. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Hmm, A’s deadline is my birthday…so easy to remember, no? Hehehe.

    Yeah, Davy Jones had his moment for crush-iness. Indeed.

    I slacked on the guitar for too many reasons, but now I’m back. Hahaha, I probably won’t be doing open mics anytime soon and definitely not singing. My voice could curdle concrete. However, once I become competent enough…who knows? The ether is the limit.

    Good to see Audrey getting some love here. She’s ace. In tons of ways.

    Thanks, yeah, I’m a make the best of that extra day. Kayla’s supposed to come over tonight for some family videogames. It’s usually Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros, Switch bowling, and Mario Party 7 (or another version) (my mom’s favorite; yes, my 80-year-old mother plays videogames, haha; she loves the bowling too). Otherwise, it’ll be working out, working on the guitar, and making some progress proofreading Sypha’s short story collection. That’s productive enough for me.

    Getting a little kidney pain today. I hope it goes away on its own or at least doesn’t get worse. I have some drugs for it if it should get worse. No worries, though: onward and upward.

  6. Sypha

    I got this book not too long ago, but have not gotten to it yet… looking forward to it, though. I did recently read something else by her, by which I mean her story in the Neo-Decadence Evangelion anthology.

    Right now I’m reading (among other things) the new Kiddiepunk book, THE OTHERS LIVED AS ME, which I see is by Ange Dargent (who I saw in Michael’s film The Masturbator’s Heart, which I caught last week while on vacation).

  7. Charalampos

    WOW, this Guided by Voices song made me happy. lmagine if the rest of the album is that good. l have to check it out, l only listened to the one before that as their latest release. Maybe l will return to Propeller, l told you before but it’s my favourite Guided by Voices album. lf you have any standout songs from Propeller l would love to know your faves <3

    l am half settled in my grandmother's house, staying in the very room we watched telenovelas together every single day. Actually when l got in the door l started thinking and feeling like her. l continue to find things in front of my feet and collecting them, maybe it's not a random thing as it happened in Athens too all the time. l have close to 100 gathered in purse. Did that thing ever happened to you?
    Many of them show transformation and hope, things like butterflies, cards tons of them, hearts, stars, diamond shaped things etc

    l can't believe the news about Kenneth Anger and Tina Turner too. All this spirit. l knew you loved Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. l can't believe no good bio exists on Anger as l can't believe no bio exists on Samson deBrier who stars in the film. l used to read blog entries about him, he had a house full of old Hollywood memorabilia. l learned about it when l read the Marjorie Cameron biography Wormwood Star

  8. Bill

    Beautiful book and post today, Dennis. And a lot of fine dolls yesterday. Those doll-under-plastic paintings are creepy. I might have seen that Tony Oursler, or I might be hallucinating. Funny, after I discovered Laurie Simmons via Jimmy DeSana, now she catches my eye everywhere.

    Not out of the woods with work yet, but soon. Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. For Europeans it’s Whit Monday?


  9. Nick.

    Hi! Hope your day was good what’d you get into? Mine was great! I saw a long time friend who moved away and was visiting ate some tacos and played the board game settlers of katana on a bit of ketamine to make it settler of kkatan which I thought was hilarious when my friend suggested it. So yeah great day oh I also said hey I’d love to hang if you really meant it to boy just in passing between the fun cause I got sort of giddy to be in his area on other business and he responded affirmatively at least which is cool and sorta sweet? But was sadly out of town so I wished him well and sort of fell into all the stuff I told you about before. And I think this song is the one. But I also didn’t try to hard like I said. Face eraser such a good title and it was nice to walk to and distracted me from any minor issues I was having on said walk so A+ tune in my book. Talk soon and wish you well!

  10. David Ehrenstein

    Don’t Forget Warren Sonbert’s classic :Amphetamine”

  11. Mark

    It is curious that Darger’s novel hasn’t been published. My friend Sue produced this film about Darger back in 2004, In the Realms of the Unreal His visual work really rocked the art world, but his literary works remain in the shadows.

    I just picked up a copy of Little Cezar #10. I love the section by Lita Hornick on the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Ginsberg’s outline of the haiku as, “emptiness, form and a blissful or humorous recognition between the two,” is a take on the form I haven’t heard. I’m a volunteer writing facilitator for and work with K-12 students doing creative writing. I’m sure I learn more about writing from them than they do from me – lol! But I never teach anything or talk down to them. This is a great prompt for thinking about a hackneyed form that can still yield surprises.

  12. Steve Erickson

    I reached a turning point in life yesterday and bought a Grateful Dead album for the first time. (It was AMERICAN BEAUTY.) Their fans are so fucking annoying, and I was surrounded by them in college, that it’s very hard to hear the actual music. (One day when I was working at Anthology, I was listening to a Herbie Hancock live album from the ’70s, and their intern said “the Dead can do all this and better.” Ugh.) But I listen to WORKINGMAN’S DEAD, LIVE/DEAD and/or AMERICAN BEAUTY on streaming once a year to see if I can find merit in them, and I’ve finally grown to like AMERICAN BEAUTY & WORKINGMAN’S DEAD. Did you ever see them live?

    The same day, I heard a funny anecdote from a friend who works as a teacher. One of his students was wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt, but when he asked her about it, she didn’t even know they were a rock band!

    How much time do you and Zac plan to devote the editing day by day? Is it the equivalent of a 9 to 5 job?

    Beautiful weather this weekend. It was great to finally have lunch with someone I only knew online yesterday.

  13. _Black_Acrylic

    I just finished Szasz’s novella Destroy Everything You Touch the other week, and look forward to her new one a great deal.

    To no one’s great surprise, Leeds United were relegated today to the Championship after a disaster of a season. Funnily enough, it’s not like I feel overly gutted about it. This is really no more than we deserve.

  14. Minet

    Very interesting-sounding book. Some of the prose reminds me a bit of Lydia Lunch, but I might be totally off. AS is such a great publisher.

    How was your weekend, dear Dennis? I went to a Lana Del Rey concert at this local festival. It was cool, though I did get food poisoning from this really gross hot dog during the day and threw up more than I ever have in my life! But got well and toughened up just in time for Lana… There’s always a catch with little ‘ol me :/// Luckily as writers we can suck endless inspiration off every little shitty thing that happens to us… No idea where I’d even be otherwise, ha. I’m fine now but my chest really hurts. I’ll take a walk in the park and listen to music and buy some flowers, that’ll probably help.

    I love that GBV song you posted. My favorite GBV song is probably Tractor Rape Chain or Awful Bliss. Yeah, I know, Beesound, basic, but it’s a classic for a reason. You got any recent music recommendations? Hugs

    • Minet

      Beethousand****, you silly uncultured keyboard

  15. Jamie

    Hey Dennis.
    This books looks great. I’m yet to read anything by Audrey Szasz as it’s pretty pricey to get Amphetamine Sulphate books sent over here, but I’m tempted to get it sent to a UK friend’s place as those excerpts are most enticing.
    How was your weekend? Mine was enlivened by some okay theatre and some Luther Price films at the experimental film club. Was nice to see them on a big(ger) screen with fuller sound. I hadn’t realised before how important the sound in his films is.
    Man, I’m sorry Mary Gaitskill was down on your work. That’s put me off her a wee bit. I watched a couple of interviews with her and she doesn’t seem like much fun, so there’s that. What was the story of hers you were reading for your book group?
    Hope your Monday’s like a kindly stick of dynamite.
    Domesticated but secretly unruly love,

  16. Jack

    Hey Dennis!

    I saw a movie the other day via the Prismatic Ground Festival in NYC called Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright. The theater was litigously dark and it felt like an incantation. Very powerful eulogy for a woman’s dog of all things! Any Scott Barley head should check it out. Out of the blue question but has there ever been any desire to release the script to Permanent Greenlight? I’d love to read it. Also what’s a great book that takes place in the woods?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2023 DC's

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑