Fantagraphics Releases Significant Objects

You never can tell what Fantagraphics will publish next! From lesser known works by Gilbert Hernandez, to the complete works of Prince Valiant, the Seattle publisher always has something fantastic up their sleeve. Now, they are turning their attention to Significant Objects.

Significant Objects began in 2009 as a bold online inquiry into the relationship between narrative and the value of everyday objects. It has been the subject of speculation by everyone from NPR to litbloggers to The New York Times’ Freakonomics crew. Some theorized about the project’s hypothesis, others about its methods and results. Others just wanted to know if there would be a book collection. The answer is yes. A collection of one hundred Significant Objects stories is published in this hardcover volume.

This represents the latest plot twist yet to the story of a very unlikely project that began as an experiment, turned into an experimental literary magazine secretly published on eBay, and currently raises money for youth tutoring nonprofits.

Founded by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker, SignificantObjects.com has published an extraordinary series of 200 stories and counting — by William Gibson, Curtis Sittenfeld, Sheila Heti, Colson Whitehead, Nicholson Baker, Meg Cabot, Gary Panter, Ben Katchor, Lydia Millet, Jonathan Lethem, and other talented writers — about ordinary stuff like novelty items, discarded souvenirs, and tasteless kitchenware picked up cheap at thrift stores and yard sales. The goal: To see if commissioning great stories about these insignificant things would increase their value — as measured in actual eBay auctions.

The experiment, in short, was a smash hit. The Significant Objects book features 100 moving, absurd, surprising, and always entertaining stories from the project’s three volumes. It will change the way you look at things, forever.

Check out a 21 page excerpt here.

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