Significant Objects (Paperback)
100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS
SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: A Literary and Economic Experiment
Can a great story transform a worthless trinket into a significant object? The Significant Objects project set out to answer that question once and for all, by recruiting a highly impressive crew of creative writers to invent stories about an unimpressive menagerie of items rescued from thrift stores and yard sales.
That secondhand flotsam definitely becomes more valuable: sold on eBay, objects originally picked up for a buck or so sold for thousands of dollars in total making the project a sensation in the literary blogosphere along the way.
But something else happened, too: The stories created were astonishing, a cavalcade of surprising responses to the challenge of manufacturing significance. Who would have believed that random junk could inspire so much imagination?
The founders of the Significant Objects project, that's who. This book collects 100 of the finest tales from this unprecedented creative experiment; you ll never look at a thrift-store curiosity the same way again.
FEATURING ORIGINAL STORIES BY: Chris Adrian Rob Agredo Kurt Andersen Rachel Axler Rob Baedeker Nicholson Baker Rosecrans Baldwin Matthew Battles Charles Baxter Kate Bernheimer Susanna Breslin Kevin Brockmeier Matt Brown Blake Butler Meg Cabot Tim Carvell Patrick Cates Dan Chaon Susanna Daniel Adam Davies Kathryn Davis Matthew De Abaitua Stacey D'Erasmo Helen DeWitt Doug Dorst Mark Doty Ben Ehrenreich Mark Frauenfelder Amy Fusselman William Gibson Myla Goldberg Ben Greenman Jason Grote Jim Hanas Jennifer Michael Hecht Sheila Heti Christine Hill Dara Horn Shelley Jackson Heidi Julavits Ben Katchor Matt Klam Wayne Koestenbaum Josh Kramer Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer Neil LaBute Victor LaValle J. Robert Lennon Jonathan Lethem Todd Levin Laura Lippman Mimi Lipson Robert Lopez Joe Lyons Sarah Manguso Merrill Markoe Tom McCarthy Miranda Mellis Lydia Millet Maud Newton Annie Nocenti Stephen O Connor Stewart O Nan Jenny Offill Gary Panter Ed Park James Parker Benjamin Percy Mark Jude Poirier Padgett Powell Bob Powers Todd Pruzan Dan Reines Nathaniel Rich Peter Rock Lucinda Rosenfeld Greg Rowland Luc Sante R.K. Scher Toni Schlesinger Matthew Sharpe Jim Shepard David Shields Marisa Silver Curtis Sittenfeld Bruce Sterling Scarlett Thomas Jeff Turrentine Deb Olin Unferth Tom Vanderbilt Matthew J. Wells Joe Wenderoth Margaret Wertheim Colleen Werthmann Colson Whitehead Carl Wilson Cintra Wilson Sari Wilson Douglas Wolk John Wray.
About the Author
Rob Walker writes the business and anthropology column Consumed for "The New York Times Magazine". He is the author of "Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are", and his work has appeared in many media outlets, from "The Wall Street Journal" to "The New Republic", from "GQ" to public radio program "Marketplace".
Joshua Glenn is cofounder of the web sites Significant Objects, Hilobrow, and Semionaut, and has authored and edited a number of books. Together with Elizabeth Foy Larsen, he writes a parenting column based on Unbored for Slate. He lives in Boston and has two sons, 10 and 13.
In 1940, when an automobile accident prematurely claimed Nathanael West's life, he was a relatively obscure writer, the author of only four short novels. West's reputation has grown considerably since then and he is now considered one of the 20th century's major authors. Born in New York, West worked as the night manager of the Kenmore Hotel on East 23rd Street in Manhattan, as a contract scriptwriter for Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, and as a screenwriter for RKO Radio Picture.