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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

UNCP professor edited book on contemporary author

A volume of essays on author Neal Stephenson edited by UNC Pembroke English Professor Dr. Jonathan Lewis was published recently by Cambridge Scholars Press.

Jonathan Lewis“Tomorrow Through the Past: Neal Stephenson and the Project of Global Modernization” (2006) began with a seminar at the 20th Century Literature Conference at the University of Louisville, Dr. Lewis said.

“I had sent out a call for papers for a conference seminar,” Dr. Lewis said. “And out of nowhere I got an email from someone in the U.K. who asked if I want to expand the project into a book.”

The result is a book with an introduction by Dr. Lewis, eight essays and an interview with author Neal Stephenson.

Dr. Lewis said Stephenson is a Seattle, Wash., based writer whose third novel, “Snow Crash,” is a landmark work of the cyberpunk genre.

“Cyberpunk is more accurately a subgenre of science fiction,” he said. “Stephenson was deeply involved with computers at a young age and his work deals with the interface between man and computer.”

Not surprisingly, Dr. Lewis teaches contemporary modernist literature along with composition and comparative literature. The Aberdeen, N.C., resident did his undergraduate work at Emory University and earned his doctorate at the University of California at Riverside.

He is doing research for subsequent publication on Stephenson and contemporary author David Foster Wallace

“I am looking at Wallace and Stephenson and how their storytelling techniques have been influenced by the Web,” Dr. Lewis said. “It is a style with multi-threaded stories that may be moving at different speeds in a way that is similar to the way people use the Web.”

Dr. Lewis is in his fifth year at UNCP. “Tomorrow Through the Past” is his first work as a general editor.

He may be contacted at 910.521.6886 or by email at jon.lewis@uncp.edu.

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