Named one of "The Best Design Books of 2012" by Brain Pickings
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 projects 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 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. As will be the Significant Objects book, which features 100 moving, absurd, surprising, and always entertaining stories from the projects three volumes. It will change the way you look at things, forever.
21-page excerpt (download 1.6 MB PDF):
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