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News is “one of the few things that connects us as a nation” observes the protagonist in the title story of Newsworld, a new collection by Todd James Pierce that explores America’s obsession with news and entertainment culture. The characters in “Newsworld” seek to design realistic theme park attractions, such “OJ’s Bronco: The Ride” and “Seige at Waco,” that allow park gu ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by University of Pittsburgh Press
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Each story tends to begin with 'We saw on the news' or 'I heard about this from...' and this fascination with the public eye is one of the primary themes that inform the book. The narrators, who seem inclined to have the same voice, no matter the story line, are apt to be more influenced by how they will be viewed by others rather than how they experience themselves. In my favorite segment, the author not only explores what makes a person famous (a theme that crops up in many of the stories), ...more
Brilliant collection of pop-infused stories. Here, the pop culture elements -- a musical called "Columbine: The Musical," an amusement park called NewsWorld, the television show the Real World -- play a minor role in the stories, which are mainly about the connections people make with one another. Rise Up and Walk, Christopher Reeve, for instance, is a rather heartbreaking story about a handyman at the estate next door to Christopher Reeve's, and the way Reeve's fight against paralysis ...more
This is one of my favorite short story collections. Its eye for cultural commentary never looks past the pathos of the characters, even when they're pop culture figures like OJ Simpson or Al Gore. In fact the story "Arise and Walk, Christopher Reeve" is a deeply sympathetic portrait of living life in the face of the unknown and incurable. "Columbine: The Musical" is as funny as it is tragic, a combination that makes it one of my favorite stories ever. This is a collection with a vision that all ...more
Fantastic collection of satirical short stories that address our media saturated, tragedy exploiting society. Standout pieces include "Columbine: The Musical", "Newsworld", "Newsworld II", "The Real World" and "The Yoshi Compound: A Story of Post-Waco Texas". Todd James Pierce creates a collection of truly thought provoking fiction here.
The author of the novel, The Australia Stories and the story collection, Newsworld, which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was a finalist for the John Gardner Book Award and the Paterson Prize. His work has been published in Fiction, The Georgia Review, Harvard Review, The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, North American Review, Shenandoah, The Sun, ...moreMore about Todd James Pierce...