Invisible Seattle: The Novel of Seattle

by Seattle, 1987.

Out of Print?

Invisible Seattle.In 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 cover. 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 and discrete critique of many of our cultural and political assumptions - about authorship, for instance, the uses of the computer, and the way communities function. 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 jump 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: a 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 widely distributed.

This project stands as a milestone of creative literary experimentation, collaboration, and electronic literature.