GenX Lit

JenX67’s Monday morning roundup of Generation X news included a link to a post about Generation X writer, Marisha Pessl, author of the novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

“generation-x authors are proving to be refreshingly impressive. it’s as if they have taken the norm of novel writing and reading to a whole new dimension. if Jonathan Safran Foer (b. 1977) made “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” into a multi-media read, Marisha Pessl, (b. 1977) has taken a more traditional path, but in an overdone and quirky style that it comes out a breakthrough.

the whole book is riddled with citation, reference, footnotes and nicely done hand illustrations that the novel seems to be a research paper cum diary.

Read full post here.

I recall this book was a pretty big hit when it debut, and a lot of the librarians at the library where I work read it, or so it seemed. I started it but didn’t get far before giving. Not exactly sure why. Seems like a book I should give a second chance to but not sure how I’m going to fit it in.

Pessl is a latter-age GenXer, born in 1977, same year as my wife. In what is an all too common GenX story line her parents divorced when she was young, and she moved with her mother and sister to North Carolina.

Irrelevant connection note: Pessl was born in Clarkston, Michigan, and I live in Michigan, though not Clarkston, but I have a cousin who lives there.

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2 responses to “GenX Lit

  1. So little has been written about Gen X literature – maybe i’m just not hitting the academic blogs enough or they’re calling it something else. I’d never heard of Pessl!

  2. Well, I’d be surprised if very many, or even any, academics are teaching GenX Lit, no matter what they call it. My memory of being an English major in college — and I fully admit that was many years ago — was that we concentrated mainly on old stuff, the cannon. I mean, the most contemporary stuff I ever studied in class was Updike and Pynchon.

    And that’s too bad because I think Geneartion X is producing some interesting stuff. Beginning with Brett Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney (I know Mr. McInerney, by age, could be claimed a Boomer of perhaps a Gen Joneser, but I think of him as GenX Lit figure). Speaking of which I do recall in undergrad some lower level Lit courses having Bright Lights, Big Cit and Less than Zero an the syllabus.

    And when I taught Freshman Comp at Western Michigan, there were TAs that used to Douglas Coupland’s Generation X. I wanted to but, of course, slacker that I am never got around to designing my class to utilize this any other book.

    In my old age, I’d like to go back to school and concentrate on GenX Lit.

    This topic always leads me to wonder where are all the great Boomer authors? Where are all the great works about the Summer of Love and Woodstock? I’m not talking about books/authors that Boomers have read, like Ginsberg and Kerouac etc, but actually Boomer aged writers. Becasue when I try to think of them I can’t? But perhaps I am just blocking them out.

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