Invisible Seattle: The Novel of Seattle
by Seattle, 1987.
Out of Print?
1983, as part of a Seattle arts festival, a group of writers, artists
and performers conspired to recruit the entire city to write a detective
novel. The project became an inspired investigation into the concepts
of city, language, individuality and authorship in a world of flux.
Published in 1987, this 246-page paperback includes the entire text of
the novel, numerous illustrations and photographs plus an appendix recounting
the structure of the festival event itself. The author, who has also dabbled
in software, airplane-manufacture, and "grunge" music, continues to haunt
the shores of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest.
Function Industries Press
ISBN 0-930257-05-7. 246 pages, perfect bound paperback. Extensive illustrations
and photographs (line art and halftones) in black ink, plus 2-color
Size = 5.5" wide x 8.5" high. Weight = 10.4 oz. Retail price = $19.95
"The members of Invisible Seattle form the wittiest, liveliest, most intelligient
and most stylish group working in and around literature in the U.S. today.
In this "novel of Seattle by Seattle" they have completed an exhilirating
task, providing, in addition to 200 pages of engaging text, a vast
critique of many of our cultural and political assumptions - about
authorship, for instance, the uses of the computer, and the way communities
New York, Chicago and Los Angeles had better mend their ways before Seattle
leaves them looking as archeologically quaint as Ninevah and Tyre."
- Harry Mathews, novelist and poet -
Excerpt from Invisible Seattle
A surprisingly good book that emerged
from one of the most audacious feats of collaborative writing we have
ever heard of: in the 1980s, a group of literary workers, wearing
suits and helmets, and armed with clipboards and business cards, took
to the streets to get the entire city of Seattle to write a novel:
book about Seattle by Seattle. This project has been canonized by Fulbright
scholar Rob Wittig in Invisible Rendevous, but (perhaps due to
trouble paying royalties to the entire city) the novel has not been
This project stands as a milestone of creative literary
experimentation, collaboration, and electronic literature.