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The & Now Awards: The Best Innovative Writing

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0982315606
ISBN-10: 0982315600
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Archambeau is a critic and poet whose books include Word Play Place, Laureates and Heretics, and Home & Variations. He is professor of English at Lake Forest College.

Davis Schneiderman is a multimedia artist and writer and the author or editor of ten print and audio works, including the novels Drain (TriQuarterly/Northwestern), the DEAD/BOOKS trilogy from Jaded Ibis [including Blank: a novel (Jaded Ibis), with audio from Dj Spooky, and the forthcoming [SIC] and INK]; and the co-edited collections Retaking the Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization (Pluto) and The Exquisite Corpse: Chance and Collaboration in Surrealism's Parlor Game (Nebraska). His creative work has appeared in numerous publications including Fiction International, The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and Exquisite Corpse, and semi-regularly in The Huffington Post, The Nervous Breakdown, and Big Other. He is Chair of the English Department at Lake Forest College, and also Director of Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books. He edits The &NOW AWARDS: The Best Innovative Writing.

Steve Tomasula is the author of the novels The Book of Portraiture (FC2); In & Oz (Ministry of Whimsy Press); and VAS: AN OPERA IN FLATLAND, an acclaimed novel of the biotech revolution. Incorporating narrative forms of all kinds--from comic books, travelogues, journalism or code to Hong Kong action movies or science reports--Tomasula's writing has been called a "reinvention of the novel, '"combining an "attention to society in the tradition of Orwell, attention to language in the tradition of Beckett, and the humor of a Coover or Pynchon." His writing often crosses visual, as well as written genres, drawing on science and the arts to take up themes of how we represent what we think we know, and how these representations shape our lives. His short fiction has been published widely, and most recently in McSweeney's, DENVER QUARTERLY, Fiction International, and the Iowa Review, where he received the Iowa Prize for the most distinguished work published in any genre. Tomasula holds a doctorate in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and teaches in the program for writers at the University of Notre Dame.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Forest College Press (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982315600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982315606
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,454,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book does not (and is not intended to) act as a stand-alone novel. In fact, the main message of the book seems to be that when you can't see a way to solve your problems from where you are standing, sometimes it helps to stand in a different place.

Along the path to revolution, the authors insert thoughts and ideas that challenge basic assumptions about what is right, normal, necessary, and appropriate. Their originality, bold themes, and fearless writing hit with the force of a hurricane.

Is a representative democracy the only good form of government? What's so sacred about a majority? How should a government finance itself? Who is God? Are polygamy, polyandry, or other forms of multiple marriage wrong, or can they be used to help preserve the stability of a child-rearing environment? Indeed, how do you most efficiently organize a revolutionary group that must be kept secret from the authorities?

The writers in this anthology present their varied opinions on government, slavery, marriage, politics, revolutions, prisons, family organizations, the value of money, consciousness (both organic and computer based), betting, Darwinian selection, true intelligence, conscription, advertising, religion, the purpose of war, and just about every other subject you can imagine. While you may not agree with many of these opinions, they present their views in such a way that you will be forced to at least examine why you believe your own opinions are correct.

Some readers have quite correctly noted that this book should not be read by ultra-grammarians, as it is told in varied styles, including an odd pidgin mixture of English and Russian, with occasional items thrown in from Chinese, Finnish, and several other languages. One writer goes so far as to use alphabetics.
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Format: Paperback
I have 35 years of experience teaching high school English, and I have found this to be the best book ever. My mom bought me this collection for my birthday, and while I'm a pretty big fan of postmoderism and avant-pop, many consider it blasphemy to call yourself that without reading THE &NOW ANTHOLOGY, so I delved into the skull to see what all the fuss was about. While a few of the stories feel rather underfleshed (no pun intended), most of the short stories feel satisfyingly complete on their own. A key concept of the anthology (if I'm explaining it right) is that you will start to experience a certain kind of enlightenment when you learn to leave your analytical mind behind.

This anthology has some excellent selections, with intelligent choices made as to which works of certain authors to present and a wonderful variety of styles and subjects. The bulk of the book comes from stories chosen by the editors who wish to believe that even if you bother to read every selection in the book, you as a reader may finish reading the book but the book, the stories themselves may not be finished with you, their ideas staying with you long after the book has been sold back to a college used book store or disposed of in some other way.

THE &NOW AWARDS is a book I have read and cherished, and a book I dearly love. It is an anthology that deserves to be bought multiple times over.
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Format: Paperback
It is incredible that guys of this stature would take the time to compile such an essential and complete perspective on the book integrating the numbers and natures of so many experimental writers. How anyone could describe the happenings of this book as love is beyond me, but I'm going to try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible. Though I think the meekness and simplicity of works such as Blake Butler's "Insomnia Door" will go over the heads of many who have been brought up on a Nietzschean, survival-of-the-fittest mentality, those still hesitant on whether or not to read should buy it anyway, if only to awaken them from their dogmatic slumber.
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