What would you write if no one knew who you were?
In the spirit of the demolition derby, where drivers take heedless risks with reckless abandon, welcome to the first convocation of the Secret Society of Demolition Writers. Here is a one-of-a-kind collection by famous authors writing anonymously–and dangerously. With the usual concerns about reputations and renown cast aside, these twelve daredevils have each contributed an extreme, no-holds-barred unsigned story, each shining as brightly and urgently as hazard lights.
Unconventional and unapologetic , this publishing equivalent of a whodunit features an eclectic group of fictional characters, including a delusional schizophrenic narrator, an egg donor with second thoughts about her decision, a pharmacist who forms a weird crush on a woman who beat both of her parents to death, and a little girl who understands that an old safe is the threshold to another, ghostly, world. Equally diverse and surprising are the authors themselves: Aimee Bender, Benjamin Cheever, Michael Connelly, Sebastian Junger, Elizabeth McCracken, Rosie O’Donnell, Chris Offutt, Anna Quindlen, John Burnham Schwartz, Alice Sebold, Lauren Slater, and Marc Parent, the editor of the collection. Never before has such a wide-ranging and talented group of authors been assembled to such explosive and entertaining effect.
The Secret Society of Demolition Writers is an intriguing puzzle in itself, but it’s also an important addition to the careers of some of our finest storytellers–even if we never really know who wrote what. Its boundary-smashing fiction offers exhilarating proof that for an artist, withholding your identity can mean gaining your freedom.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Secret Society of Demolition Writers|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Secret Society of Demolition Writers
It seemed the sun never sank that summer. All day long the air was thick and the river running through our town was just a dead gray snake with a sulfurous smell. Without wind, the tops of the trees drooped and when you fanned your face, the air was like a wall of water barely moving over you. People complained. Air-conditioning units banged, and the ice from a Slurpee was cool blue heaven before it melted on the pad of your tongue.
I didn’t want to get a job selling Slurpees, the way so many others my age did. I certainly didn’t want to be a lifeguard, hoisted high in one of those chairs with an emergency cross blazing at my back. I look eh in a bathing suit. I’m twenty-one, sun sensitive, my skin as white as milk in a blue china cup. I am the kind of person who seeks shady places and books; I like any book that has to do with houses and their insides. I like the old books about Boston houses—Edith Wharton and a man named James write about those—and I like the new books you get in the paperback rack in the drugstore, books where living rooms have velvet drapes and people are in love for two seconds tops. I’ve been in love a few times, but nothing worth noting here.
I live with my mother. In our town, most of us do. We go to the high school, a big industrial brick building with rows and rows of slick red lockers, and then we graduate up to the community college where huge elms shade the campus and there’s an archway you have to drive through that says something important and Latin on it. At the community college, most of us major in physician’s assistant training programs, which m