A collection of Douglas Coupland's articles and short fiction pieces. It offers Coupland's thoughts on topics such as the life and death of Kurt Cobain, and the bizarre behaviour of "Harolds" - teenagers obsessed with hanging about in cemeteries.
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Here we are, over half-way through them, but no-one seems to have a clear sense of what defines the 1990s; what are these years for, what against? Who better to consult than that anatomist of the sound-bite era, that taxonomist of moods, icons, jargon and styles, Douglas Coupland, author of 'Microserfs' and 'Generation X'. Let him explain his intention for this book:
'This book – comprised of both fiction and non-fiction – explores the world that existed in the early 1990s, back when the decade was young and had yet to locate its own texture. In 1990, society seemed to be living in a 1980s hangover and was unclear in its direction. People seemed unsure that the 1990s were even going to be capable of generating their own mood. Now I read these pieces over, and it's as though I've opened a kitchen drawer and found a Kleenex box full of already nostalgic Polaroid snapshots and postcards. I hope the photographic imagery in the book will help accentuate this feeling of riffling through evocative old missives. I find myself thinking wistfully of that place in time, say, not three years ago, when teenage bedrooms again sprouted daisy stickers and when Grunge ruled the catwalks. On another level, I think of when the imperative to become "wired" hadn't yet so much filled the world's workforce with dark dreams of low-tech paranoia and security-free obsolescence. It's been a busy half-decade.'
Like all his writing, these 'Polaroids from the Dead' are unsettlingly perceptive, resoundingly right and characteristically Coupland – snapshots from the history of the future, to be cherished here and now by the privileged few.
Douglas Coupland first came to prominence as the author of Generation X (1995). He followed that with a sequence of ever-more daring and inventive novels, including Life After God, Girlfriend in a Coma and Hey Nostradamus! He lives in Vancouver.