Opening night for Yet Another World, the 30th annual Key West Literary Seminar (January 5-8, 2012) will feature two of North America’s most forward-thinking novelists and thinkers. We are delighted to announce this year’s John Hersey Memorial Event: A Conversation with Douglas Coupland and William Gibson.
Douglas Coupland, a Canadian, first came to prominence in 1991 with publication of his debut novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. The book popularized terms such as “McJob” and “Generation X” and went on to become an international bestseller. This has been followed by 12 subsequent novels, distinguished by a synthesis of postmodern religion, Web 2.0 technology, human sexuality, and pop culture. His fiction is complemented by a body of work in design and visual art that engages potentially apocalyptic outcomes of technology and contemporary culture. Coupland has been described as “…possibly the most gifted exegete of North American mass culture writing today,” and “one of the great satirists of consumerism.”
William Gibson, an American who emigrated to Canada, is celebrated for a body of fiction that, over time, has proved uncannily prescient about the near future. His debut novel, Neuromancer (1984), introduced the term “cyberspace” and created an iconography for the information age long before the ubiquity of the internet in the late 1990s. Later books, including Mona Lisa Overdrive, Pattern Recognition, and his latest, Zero History, have popularized the character of the computer hacker as hero, and anticipated the rise of reality television, celebrity journalism, and nanotechnology. In all, Gibson is the author of nine novels, more than 20 short stories, and has collaborated extensively with performance artists, filmmakers, and musicians.