216 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: July 8, 2005
A novel set in post-9/11 New York City about a supermodel and the ultimate Broadway blockbuster.
Set in post-9/11 New York City, Reena Spaulings was written by a large collective of writers and artists that bills itself as The Bernadette Corporation. Like most contemporary fiction, Reena Spaulings is about a female twenty-something. Reena is discovered while working as a museum guard and becomes a rich international supermodel. Meanwhile, a bout of terrible weather seizes New York, leaving in its wake a strange form of civil disobedience that stirs its citizens to mount a musical song-and-dance riot called "Battle on Broadway." Fashioned in the old Hollywood manner by a legion of professional and amateur writers striving to achieve the ultimate blockbuster, the musical ends up being about a nobody who could be anybody becoming a somebody for everybody. The result is generic and perfect—not unlike Reena Spaulings itself, whose many authors create a story in which New York itself strives to become the ultimate collective experiment in which the only thing shared is the lack of uniqueness.
[a] sprawling work of crypto-impressionistic fiction that purposefully elides individual authorship for a sort of rarefied mechanical groupthink.
Christopher Bollen, Artforum