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Fiction General

The Mere Future

by (author) Sarah Schulman

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2009
General, Lesbian
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2011
    List Price

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From the nation that elected Barack Obama in the flames of economic disaster comes the first novel of the New Era, The Mere Future, by award-winning novelist, activist, and playwright Sarah Schulman. In this dystopian vision, New York City has morphed into an idealized version of itself, the result of what the newly elected mayor calls The Big Change. Rent is cheap, homelessness is over, and everyone works in Marketing. Despite the utopian surface, however, there is a disturbing malaise that infects the population. Our heroine, a lowly copywriter, and her girlfriend Nadine just want to fall in love all over again, but can't help noticing that the social packaging may not be recyclable.

Calling on all genres?literary fiction, mystery, fantasy, poetry, and stand-up comedy?Schulman invents a literature that reflects the lives we live right now while being funny, sexy, and open-hearted.

Sparkling with witty and provocative social commentary, The Mere Future is a startlingly sharp-eyed prophecy of the world to come that blows literary conventions out of the water.

About the author

Sarah Schulman is the author of sixteen books: the novels The Mere Future, The Child, Rat Bohemia, Shimmer, Empathy, After Delores, People In Trouble, Girls Visions and Everything, and The Sophie Horowitz Story, the nonfiction works The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness To a Lost Imagination, Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS and the Marketing of Gay America and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years, and the plays Mercy and Carson McCullers. She is co-author with Cheryl Dunye of the movies The Owls and Mommy is Coming, and co-producer with Jim Hubbard of the feature United in Anger: A History of ACT UP. She is co-director of the ACT UP Oral History Project .

Her awards include the 2009 Kessler Award for "Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies" from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and two American Library Association Book Awards, and she was a Finalist for the Prix de Rome. She lives in New York, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at City University of New York (College of Staten Island) and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.
Author photograph by Nayland Blake.

Sarah Schulman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Sarah Schulman is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated American novelists alive today.... The Mere Future tops my holiday wish list. It's described as the first "post-Obama" novel, set in a supposedly utopian New York City. But utopias are in the eye of the beholder, and a dystopia lurks beneath the surface. Schulman's fearless and literate style can be counted on to make this the sort of novel that is reread many times.
?Sacramento News and Reviews

Sacramento News and Reviews

In Schulman's remarkable near-future novel,Manhattan has been reinvented through profound social reform - a "Big Change" fomented by a new (lady) mayor in which rent is suddenly, astonishingly affordable, nobody is homeless, and ubiquitous Starbucks storefronts (and every other chain store) have magically disappeared.... Schulman injects wry political commentary and sly cultural satire into her intellectually dynamic plot with infectious constancy.
?Richard Labonte, Book Marks

Book Marks

Clever word craft, poetic political satire and biting humor on every page.
?Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Shockingly of the moment.... The Mere Future is set a few years hence "when things are slightly better because there has been a big change," and, as she always does, Schulman fashions a writing style that suits the setting.... [This] is probably Schulman's funniest book.
?Lambda Book Report

Lambda Book Report

Schulman injects wry political commentary and sly cultural satire into a dynamic, unconventional novel, infusing it with a futuristic gaze both sardonic and sage.
?Richard Labonte, Book Marks

Richard Labonte

In this dystopic, hell-ride of a novel, Sarah Schulman, New York's legendary poet-maudit, is grappling with something that matters. The Mere Future is a rare combination of brains and humor, by turns enlightened and terrifying.
?Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

Nick Flynn

The Mere Future wrestles with the hard questions without losing its heart or humor. As always, Sarah Schulman is a wise interpreter of culture, pointing out truths that aren't always obvious. Her characters try to figure out what it means to be in love in a world where everything is for sale. She's the writer who lets us know if the ticking we hear is a clock or a bomb.
?Tayari Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling

Tayari Jones

In the latter part of the 20th century, Sarah Schulman was the American novelist who wrote scorching dispatches from the front about the AIDS epidemic. A formidable Swiftian, she continues to lampoon the absurdity of our mores and the world we live in. But Schulman's calm, measured, voice in The Mere Future is startlingly new?prophetic, wise and true.
?Jaime Manrique, author of Our Lives Are the Rivers

Jaime Manrique

Other titles by Sarah Schulman