Douglas Coupland


Douglas Coupland 


Revised: 03-October-99

Douglas Coupland, born December 30, 1961 in West Germany, is the author of several books: Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, Microserfs, and most recently, Postcards from the Dead.

Coupland’s work is the voice of a generation. His views and ideas represent those being felt by the kids of the ‘lost’ generation – Generation X. His books are at once disturbing, funny, shocking, and astoundingly insightful. When considering his works, one is reminded of the prose that will sneak up on you and ring clear and true like a bell.

From Shampoo Planet:

I will mention at this point, though, an incident that happened at the dinner table the night Grandma and Grandpa came over. Just before he left, Grandpa started coughing — real tubercular lungbusters — and we could only sit politely waiting for the coughing bout to end. When we thought he was finished, we were standing up, leaving the table and heading for the door, when suddenly Grandpa made one final last 1,000 kiloton looger, right into the sandalwood candelabra Jasmine bought at the Snohomish craft fair, extinguishing all three candles. We then proceeded to the front door and said our good-byes to him and Grandma. Then, while Jasmine, Grandma, and Grandpa were walking down to the soon-to-be-repossessed Lincoln Continental, Daisy, Mark, and I walked back to the dining room table and looked at the candelabra in silence. While Daisy and Mark stood by the candles, I fetched a box of decorative matches from the fireplace, returned to the table, and relit the candles. Once these candles were all burning fully, the three of us move in on them, and without speaking, we blew them out together,
just as Jasmine was walking back in the door.

“What are you kids doing?” she asked us, but we never replied, and she walked into the kitchen.

The moment was not one that could be talked about. The moment was entirely ours. As brothers and sister we knew instinctively that if we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.

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