Saturday, August 20, 2016

J. Poskanzer, W. Josephson, and N. Katz's "Literary Starbucks"

Jill Poskanzer, Wilson Josephson, and Nora Katz, who met at Carleton College, are the creators of the Literary Starbucks blog.

They applied the “Page 99 Test” to their new book, Literary Starbucks: Fresh-Brewed, Half-Caf, No-Whip Bookish Humor, and reported the following:
We need everyone to know that we’re way too avant-garde to have actual page numbers. Someone had to tell us what’s actually on page 99, because we would have had to count. Page 99 of Literary Starbucks: Fresh-Brewed, Half-Caf, No-Whip Bookish Humor is the second page of Adrienne Rich’s coffee order (a parody of her poem “Diving Into the Wreck”). We think it fails the Page 99 Test—the Rich order is kind of an anomaly in the book. Most of our entries are parodies of author's styles or jokes rooted in the behavioral quirks of characters and authors, and most follow the same outline: someone walks up to the counter and attempts to order; hijinks inevitably ensue. Our “Diving Into the Wreck” parody singles out a specific text and copies its form in a way that many of the others don’t. And unlike the blog, in which each post highlights a separate author or character, the book allows these personas to interact with one another. Page 99 is Rich, all alone. She doesn’t start a duel or a fire or a romantic entanglement, as many of the other patrons do.

Though failing in these respects, the Page 99 Test is a great example of how Literary Starbucks has something for everyone: direct parodies, standalone gags, and pages of interaction between beloved literary personalities. The Adrienne Rich coffee order is close to the middle of the book; it is our quiet rewrite of a beautiful and introspective poem. On either side of it, jokes, surprises, and nostalgia reign. That is what characterizes Literary Starbucks: variety and delight and a good guffaw. We hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!
Learn more about Literary Starbucks at the publisher's website, and visit the Literary Starbucks blog.

--Marshal Zeringue