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The End of the Book --- as Noted in a New Book (or, Jeff Martin and "The Late American Novel")

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's ST, we're speaking with our friend (and frequent StudioTulsa commentator) Jeff Martin, a Tulsa-based writer and editor who has a new book out (from Soft Skull Press), which he co-edited with C. Max Magee. It's called "The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books." In our digitized era of the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, and so forth (and let's not even mention the supposed fate of hand-held newspapers and tangible magazines) the future of the printed word, as everyone and his brother keeps observing, might look pretty grim. Is the end of the book actually upon us? Could it really be that --- as that one nutty scientist (played by Harold Ramis) puts it in the original "Ghostbusters" film --- "print is dead?" Martin's anthology offers more than 20 unique and creative approaches to this question, and in doing so presents work from Lauren Groff, Rivka Galchen, Reif Larsen, Benjamin Kunkel, and many more. "The Late American Novel" is therefore a book that informs and entertains not by coming up with answers, but by posing lots and lots of new and divergent questions.