The Late American Novel by Jeff Martin
Writers on the Future of Books

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The way we absorb information has changed dramatically. Edison’s phonograph has been reincarnated as the iPod. Celluloid went digital. But books, for the most part, have remained the same—until now. And while music and movies have undergone an almost Darwinian evolution, the literary world now faces a revolution, a sudden seismic change in the way we buy, produce, and, yes, read books.

Scholars, journalists, and publishers have turned their brains inside out in the effort to predict what lies ahead, but who better to comment on the future of the book than those who are driven to write them?

In The Late American Novel, Jeff Martin and C. Max Magee gather some of today’s finest writers to consider the sea change that is upon them. Lauren Groff imagines an array of fantastical futures for writers, from poets with groupies to novelists as vending machines. Rivka Galchen writes about the figurative and literal death of paper. Joe Meno expounds upon the idea of a book as a place set permanently aside for the imagination, regardless of format. These and other original essays by Reif Larsen, Benjamin Kunkel, Victoria Patterson, and many more provide a timely and much-needed commentary on this compelling cultural crossroad.

About Jeff Martin

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Jeff Martin edited the retail anthology The Customer Is Always Wrong and in 2009 released his fabricated memoir, My Dog Ate My Nobel Prize. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. C. Max Magee created and edits the online magazine The Millions. He has appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition and has written for Poets & Writers, The Morning News, and The Rumpus. He lives in Philadelphia. Contributors Include: Thomas Allen • Kyle Beachy • John Brandon • Sonya Chung • Elizabeth Crane • Rudolph Delson • Rivka Galchen • David Gates and Jonathan Lethem • Joshua Gaylord • Lauren Groff • Garth Risk Hallberg • Owen King • Benjamin Kunkel • Reif Larsen • Victor LaValle • Emily St. John Mandel • Clancy Martin • Michael Paul Mason • Joe Meno • Ander Monson • Victoria Patterson • Tom Piazza • Marco Roth • Nancy Jo Sales • Katherine Taylor • Deb Olin Unferth
Published March 10, 2011 by Soft Skull Press. 178 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Late American Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Many writers in the early pages reflect, not surprisingly, on the "experience" of a "real" book that anyone wondering about the future of print (and therefore reading this very book) will identify with, but luckily these predictable musings ultimately serve as a point of departure.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Late American Novel: Writ...

Austin Chronicle

So here's an anthology of writing about how long-form writing and reading, in the omni-connected, ever-distracting Internet age, is (possibly) threatened with extinction or is (more likely) changing to survive.

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Late American Novel: Writ...

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