Open Books - Open Minds
2013-2014 Common Book Selection
This year's common book selection is Mat Johnson's PYM (2011). The narrator, who is obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, sails on a quest to retrace Pym's voyage to Antarctica, where he encounters zombie-like monsters and global warming. It's an ironic comedy, a social satire, and a commentary on race in American culture and literature. PYM gets at really sensitive issues of race and identity through a disarming humor that is, at the same time, quite cutting. PYM pulls 19th-century racial, scientific, cultural discourses as well as its fiction and literature of exploration directly in dialogue with contemporary, possibly "post-racial" contexts and politics. Johnson speaks to this generation's unique struggle to understand the relationship between art and the world as well as with color politics, power, and environmental apocalypse. A more detailed description of the book can be found at http://matjohnson.info/pym/.
- PYM: A Graphic Novel created by Rebekah Mainor, a work in progress
Reading notes and discussion questions Third Annual OBOM Student Conference - Call for Papers