Douglas Coupland has long held up a mirror to the times we live in, and has eerily accurately predicted the direction our shared world culture is taking.
Generation A is his latest book, and also a distillation of the main themes of his most successful previous books, most obviously Generation X and Girlfriend in a Coma. Generation A is a predicted account of the young adult lives of the next generation, essentially an updated book using a similar framework to his previous account of aimless twentysomethings: Coupland has long had an interest in the stories his characters would write and tell. But now the world has changed. Where twenty years ago it was enough to escape into a series of mcJobs and live in obscurity, now the internet has connected us with the rest of the Earth, and our only escape is to engage with it. Coupland's old premises of nuclear paranoia and lack of ambition have now been replaced with contemporary worries: the disappearance of bees, and a readily available drug called Solon, which gives the sensation of time passing quicker and extinguishes our need for socialisation. Essentially an anti-anxiety medication, Solon throws the way forward into sharper relief: The need for us to use our interconnected lives to come together and solve our problems.
Coupland, as an artist and designer as well as an author, often nods to this with his books, and so details the font used at the end of the book (in this case, Monotype Dante) it's history, and what he thinks of it.
He has also embarked on a new venture with Generation A: customising your own books. You can change the text and colours of the cover at www.customizedcoupland.com
Take a look!