Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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News Tue Dec 02 2008

Let's Hope It's Just a Coincidence

I've been trying to curb my Obama-related literary postings now that it's been some time since the election has passed, but it seems like you just can't get away from one person or other either commenting on how Obama will increase literature awareness or how some previously published book relates, in some cases quite marginally, to his election. This story in the Guardian does the latter. Apparently a Brazilian writer published a serialized novel in 1926 in which a black politician is elected the 88th President of the United States. While existence of the book, in itself, is not particularly noteworthy, except maybe for the fact that it was published so long ago, what is worth noting is that the book was conveniently republished around election time, with the disclaimer that "any resemblance to actual events is pure coincidence," and was a hit. Well, that's making the market work for you. The fact that the story's protagonist and our President share a similar skin color is merely a coincidence, but I hope it's the only one - in the story this President is found dead on the day of his inauguration. I can't say I'd find reading that kind of thing comforting in the coming days.

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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