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Writing the Future Depression

2009-06.jpgThis month’s Harper’s magazine features short science fiction from Colson Whitehead, Jamaica Kincaid, Sherman Alexie and other writers–ten authors pondering “My Great Depression.”

All the stories imagine what life will be like if the economic recession continues, considering what poverty, politics, entertainment, comic strips, drugstores, and books will be like in the very near future.

Here’s an excerpt from a piece by Thomas de Zengotita about the YouTube generation grappling with food shortages: “So there are multiple opportunities here. It’s all a matter of reframing, you see–no wonder the self-help bestseller of the 2012 spring season is called Reframing Your World. And the title is so apt, as Oprah herself acknowledged on her show, because it captures the agency you still have when the world you live in is sufficiently mediated. On the pages and on the screens, it’s still all about options, and they are still all yours.”

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