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Douglas Coupland was born on a Canadian NATO base in Baden-Sollingen, (West) Germany, on 30 December, 1961. He grew up and lives in Vancouver, Canada. His previous books are â€˜Generation Xâ€™, â€˜Shampoo Planetâ€™, â€˜Life After Godâ€™, â€˜â€˜Microserfsâ€™ and â€˜â€˜Polaroids from the Deadâ€™.
Coupland came to fame with Generation X which became a cult classic and for years afterwards he was pigeon-holed a cult author. Well he has grown up or matured, call it what you will, his subject matter is now mainstream, his writing beautifully crafted and this is a sensitive, accessible novel of loneliness, the past catching up and unexpected fulfilment. It is first-rate and anyone interested in literature today should read him.Comparison: Iain Banks, Alex Garland, Graham Swift.Similar this month: Jonathan Coe, Hitomi Kanchara.
Girls, memory, parenting, millennial fear - all served Coupland-style. Karen, an attractive, popular student, goes into a coma one night in 1979. Whilst in it, she gives birth to a healthy baby daughter; once out of it, a mere eighteen years later, she finds herself, Rip van Winkle-like, a middle-aged mother whose friends have all gone through all the normal marital, social and political traumas and back again... This tragicomedy shows Coupland in his most mature form yet, writing with all his customary powers of acute observation, but turning his attention away from the surface of modern life to the dynamics of modern relationships, but doing so with all the sly wit and weird accuracy we expect of the soothsaying author of Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, Microserfs and Polaroids from the Dead.
Andy, Dag and Claire have been handed a society beyond their means. Twentysomethings, brought up with divorce, Watergate and Three Mile Island, and scarred by the 80s fallout of yuppies, recession, crack and Ronald Reagan, they represent the new generation- Generation X. Fiercely suspicious of being lumped together as an advertiser's target market, they have quit dreary careers and cut themselves adrift in the California desert. Unsure of their futures, they immerse themselves in a regime of heavy drinking and working in no future McJobs in the service industry. Underemployed, overeducated and intensely private and unpredicatable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie. So they tell stories: disturbingly funny tales that reveal their barricaded inner world. A world populated with dead TV shows, 'Elvis moments' and semi-disposible Swedish furniture.