Joshua Cohen, New York
Joshua Cohen exists to write. Still in his early thirties, he has already published more books than some other authors in their fifties. And he certainly can write: A critic’s darling right from the start, his “smart and well conceived” stories have been described as teeming with “brash humor and intellectual reach” - they are deep but fun to read. In Freiburg, Cohen reads from his latest short story collection Four New Messages: There is a guy who deals coke to Princeton undergrads but tries to scrub a damning blog post: but the web never forgets. There is a college professor who tasks his students with building a replica of the Flatiron Building, a writer who keeps googling “what’s wrong with my story”, and a young New Jersey man in front of his computer who has “never been unattracted to himself,” and yet finds himself contemplating the underworld of Russian-run erotic websites and the fate of the women appearing on them. For Joshua Cohen, a meme can be a matter of life and death because he moves from the reality we all know - the link, the click - to the one we tend to forget: the human. He merges the often absurd self-reflection induced by the weird wide web with his own quirky, elaborate voice. The eminent James Wood selected Four New Messages as one of the best books of the year 2012: to him, they were a “revelation”!
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Mit: Heidelberg Center for American Studies