By Douglas Coupland
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781439157015, 320pp.)
Publication Date: November 2009
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Generation A is set in the near future in a world where bees are extinct, until five unconnected people from around the world -- in the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka -- are all stung. Their shared experience unites them in ways they never could have imagined.
Generation A mirrors Coupland's debut novel, 1991's Generation X. It explores new ways of storytelling in a digital world. Like much of Coupland'swriting, it occupies the perplexing hinterland between optimism about the future and everyday apocalyptic paranoia. Imaginative, inventive, and fantastically entertaining, Generation A is his most ambitious work to date.
Douglas Coupland is Canadian, born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1961. In 1965 his family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to live and work. Coupland has studied art and design in Vancouver, Canada, Milan, Italy and Sapporo, Japan. His first novel, Generation X, was published in March of 1991. Since then he has published eleven novels and several non-fiction books in 35 languages and most countries on earth. He has written and performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, England, and in 2001 resumed his practice as a visual artist, with exhibitions in spaces in North America, Europe, and Asia. 2006 marks the premiere of the feature film Everything's Gone Green, his first story written specifically for the screen and not adapted from any previous work. A TV series (13 one-hour episodes) based on his novel, "jPod" premiered on the CBC in January, 2008.
Interviews, by their very nature, are stilted affairs for both parties -- each with a clear job to do, and all ensuing charisma at least a little premeditated. But Coupland shrugs this entire convention away. He's fully engaged with the questions, and doesn't simply lapse into telling the same old anecdotes.
Douglas Coupland caught the spirit of his own time in his breakthrough Generation X. Now he's figured out how to tune into the zeitgeist of the future.