Shameful admission: I haven’t read anything by Jennifer Egan. I usually read all the major prize-winning books each year but somehow A Visit From the Goon Squad passed me by.
But I will be reading her next short story. It’s to be published, in its entirety, on Twitter. If there’s one thing I love as much as books, it’s Twitter.
The story, titled Black Box, is an 8,500-word piece that will be serialised over the span of ten nights (starting today) via The New Yorker’s NYerFiction Twitter account. One tweet will be posted per minute between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m (US time). Each tweet is a new entry in a spy’s mission log.
The concept is brilliant. Will this spark a whole new publishing trend? Does it fly in the face of what Twitter is all about?
On The New Yorker’s books blog, Page-Turner, Egan writes:
“I’d also been wondering about how to write fiction whose structure would lend itself to serialization on Twitter. This is not a new idea, of course, but it’s a rich one – because of the intimacy of reaching people through their phones, and because of the odd poetry that can happen in a hundred and forty characters. I found myself imagining a series of terse mental dispatches from a female spy of the future, working undercover by the Mediterranean Sea. I wrote these bulletins by hand in a Japanese notebook that had eight rectangles on each page.”
I’ll be intrigued to see if Egan can pull it off. Stay tuned for a review of Black Box.