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Shop  >>  Books  >>  Fiction (General)

Joshua Cohen

Four New Messages

Joshua Cohen Four New Messages
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A quartet of audacious fictions that capture the pathos and absurdity of life in the age of the internet
 
A spectacularly talented young writer has returned from the present with Four New Messages, urgent and visionary dispatches that seek to save art, sex, and even alienation from corporatism and technology run rampant.
 
In ""Emission,"" a hapless drug dealer in Princeton is humiliated when a cruel co-ed exposes him exposing himself on a blog gone viral. ""McDonald's"" tells of a frustrated pharmaceutical copywriter whose imaginative flights fail to bring solace because of a certain word he cannot put down on paper. In ""The College Borough"" a father visiting NYU with his daughter remembers a former writing teacher, a New Yorker exiled to the Midwest who refuses to read his students' stories, asking them instead to build a replica of the Flatiron Building. ""Sent"" begins mythically in the woods of Russia, but in a few virtuosic pages plunges into the present, where an aspiring journalist finds himself in a village that shelters all the women who've starred in all the internet porn he's ever enjoyed.
 
Highbrow and low-down, these four intensely felt stories explain what happens when the virtual begins to colonize the real -- they harness the torrential power and verbal dexterity that have established Cohen as one of America's most brilliant younger writers.

""Cohen, a key member of the United States' under-40 writers' club (along with Nell Freudenberger and Jonathan Safran Foer), is a rare talent who makes highbrow writing fun and accessible."" Marie Claire

""Powerfully strange. . . . Mr. Cohen's stories are about a lot of things: sex, family, disappointment, literary frustration. . . . But in his new collection, Four New Messages, he nestles these subjects inside a more expansive obsession: how the series of tubes we call the Web has recast, often in sick ways, his contemporaries' sense of who and where and why they are. . . . [T]o sum this up in Web terms, he'll make you want to be an angel investor in his stuff. What's a book but a public offering? You'll want to be in on the ground floor."" Dwight Garner, The New York Times

""In Mr. Cohen's hands, a meme is a matter of life and death, because he goes from the reality we all knowthe link, the clickto the one we tend to forget: the human. . . . Mr. Cohen is ambitious. He is mapping terra incognita."" —New York Observer

""There is ample evidence that Joshua Cohen is one of the greatest literary minds of his generation. . . . If anything is finally going to get people to admit that he's the new Thomas Pynchon (sans the whole recluse thing) the Graywolf Press published book will be it."" Flavorpill

""Cohen's comically dense ruminations don't so much as come to a boil as spill over with tales of pornography, hyperviolent video games, consumerism, and depression."" —Interview

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