To celebrate the launch of Michael Chabon's much anticipated "Telegraph Avenue," his publisher, HarperCollins, will build a pop-up record store named after the fictional one in the novel.
"Telegraph Avenue" is about Archy and Nat, jazz-loving BFFs who pour their souls into their struggling Oakland-based vinyl shop, Brokeland Records. The shop is situated on the avenue for which the book is named, and becomes at risk for bankruptcy as the opening of a nearby megastore approaches.
From September 7 to 14, Harper plans to convert Diesel, an Oakland-based store, into a realization of Brokeland Records, complete with vinyls supplied by Berigan Taylor, an independent record dealer.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "Harper's overall marketing budget for "Telegraph Avenue" is more than $250,000."
Of course, this isn't the first instance of fictional stores, items or products coming to life. Tvtropes.org refers to the phenomenon as "defictionalization," and cites Douglas Adams's actual "Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything" and 221B Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes's address which now exists as a museum dedicated to the detective, as examples.
Earlier this year, in a more dedicated and personalized effort to make fictional spaces a reality, Turkish author and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk designed a four-story museum filled with cigarettes, dolls and other 19th-century curios, inspired by his 2008 novel "The Museum of Innocence." According to The New York Times, Pamuk conceived of the museum and the book at the same time, and "collected more than a thousand artifacts that reflect the story, from a tricycle to dozens of ceramic dogs, from lottery tickets to news clippings of women with black lines drawn across their eyes (once standard in Turkish newspaper coverage of women connected to scandal)," while writing the novel.
Chabon even created a defictionalization for his last book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay." The novel features comic book creators Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, who invent a superhero they call The Escapist. Four years after the book's publication, Chabon teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to create an actual series starring The Escapist.
"Telegraph Avenue" is the first novel in five years for Chabon, whose last book was the serialized novel "Gentlemen of the Road."
Which fictional stores or products would you like to see come to life? Let us know in the comments!
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