Thanks Alisa Slaughter!
My son and I used to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was once in his stroller on Bedford Avenue when a twentysomething guy emerged from his apartment on North 8th Street decked out in full hipster uniform. He was as skinny as OC-era Mischa Barton, with minuscule black pegged jeans, a black hat of the sort Zorro might wear. My son gazed at him and said in the voice of the unselfconscious toddler, “Look at that old witch!”
—from “Williamsburg Year Zero” by Jennifer Baumgardner in What Was The Hipster?
The lengthy journey made by What Was The Hipster? or Issue 10: Self-Improvement if ordered through Amazon (British or otherwise).
Mark Greif, co-founding editor of the literary journal n+1 and frequent contributor to The American Prospect, discusses the rise and fall of the contemporary hipster on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. Greif also participated in a writers’ debate on the topic, published in What Was The Hipster?: A Sociological Investigation (n+1 Foundation, 2010).
Listen to it here:
The hipster book (see the table of contents) has been receiving some nice notices, as well as angry denunciations, all across the land—and in other lands too (England, Canada, Norway, Germany, South Africa). Mark Greif’s essay on the white hipster was excerpted in New York magazine, also to much consternation and argument.
We’ve managed to get the book into some of the better independent bookstores, but there are fewer and fewer of these, and larger distributors have declined to take us on. So we need your help! If you know of a great bookstore that doesn’t carry the book, or a great coffee shop in your town that only has a B&N in it, or a clothing store, or frankly any other kind of store—or even if you want to become your own independent one-person bookstore, walking around town with the hipster book and selling it to people on the streets, Mark Twain-like—please write to us us and we’ll figure something out.
Sincerely, and with thanks as always,
Upcoming n+1 talks & appearances – clickthrough for more information!
Wednesday, October 27, 3:30 PM, “A Conversation on Periodicals and Publishing,” Paley Library Lecture Hall, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Friday, October 29, 7 PM, What Was the Hipster? book party, Spoonbill & Sugartown, Brooklyn, NY
Monday, November 8, 7 PM, “Reflections on the public, private intellectual,” The Kitchen, NY, NY
Friday, November 12, 9 PM, Issue 10 launch party, Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, November 16, 7 PM, “The Death of Print,” Theresa Lang Center, The New School, NY, NY
Guy: “How’s that book? What are you reading?”
Alex: “It’s called What was the Hipster?”
Girl: “So what was the hipster? Are you a hipster? Do you know hipsters? Were your parents hipsters?”
Guy: “You kind of look like a hipster.”
Alex: “Why do you say that?”
Guy: “Just being prejudiced, I guess.”
Courtesy of The Atlantic's Alex Eichler