William Woodard Self (born 26 September 1961) is an English novelist, journalist, political commentator and television personality.
Self is the author of ten novels, five collections of shorter fiction, three novellas, and five collections of non-fiction writing. His work has been translated into 22 languages; his 2002 novel, Dorian was longlisted for the Booker Prize, and his novel Umbrella was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His fiction is known for being satirical, grotesque, and fantastical, and is predominantly set within his home city of London. His subject matter often includes mental illness, illegal drugs, and psychiatry.
Self is a regular contributor to publications including Playboy, The Guardian, Harper's, The New York Times and the London Review of Books. He currently writes a column for the New Statesman, and over the years he has been a columnist for the Observer, The Times, and the Evening Standard. His columns for Building Design on the built environment, and for the Independent Magazine on the psychology of place brought him to prominence as a thinker concerned with the politics of urbanism.
Self is a regular contributor on British television, initially as a guest on comic panel shows such as Have I Got News for You and Shooting Stars, but latterly appearing on current affairs programmes such as Newsnight and Question Time. He is also a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4.