It’s exquisite corpse for a momentous phenomenon; the Occupy book is being written.
The narrative from inside Liberty Plaza Park in lower Manhattan teems with drama and intrigue. Now the story is being written while it’s still fresh in the minds of those who were there, not to mention consensus-style. Calling themselves Writers for the 99%, a group of amateur and professional writers have begun spinning the yarn of Occupy Wall Street’s first month..
The book has already found a publisher, progressive OR Books, whose co-founder Colin Robinson spoke with HuffPo yesterday about the intentions of the book and the mechanics of writing collectively.
“This is also not a neutral book, it’s a book in support of the occupation…We really want to give the feel of being involved in the action, and that extraordinary feeling of solidarity that you get when you go into the park,” said Robinson on writers’ intentions.
Robinson says the book will inevitably be written by a group, but that since the goal is to create a narrative, not just to reprint interviews, what enters the final copy will be determined by a smaller group of editors and writers. “You can’t have consensus over every sentence of the book, obviously.”
When asked if the book would function as a “How To” guide to occupations, a sort of guidebook from the source material, Robinson said yes, that it would be a large part of it would be describing the “quotidian detail of what’s happening there” – how the general assembly runs, the collective kitchen, donations, etc.
Although there is no indication that they’ll be helping with the writing of the book, Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, Lemony Snicket, Barbara Ehrenreich, Eve Ensler, Naomi Klein, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Patchett, and many more signed a petition stating “We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.”
If only they all got together on the project, we’d have an even more historic tome on our hands. Robinson indicated that some of the writers working on the book are “quite-well known”, so we’ll see.
According to Robinson, we should expect copies from his OR Books out by December 17th. He plans on donating copies to the ad hoc libraries that have sprung up at occupations around the country.