Pulitzer-prize winner to serialize story on Twitter

The complete short story will also be printed in the New Yorker magazine.


Fruzsina Eördögh


Published May 24, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 4:39 pm CDT

Pulitzer-prize winning author Jennifer Egan wants to tell you a story, one tweet at a time.

“Black box,” Egan’s latest short about “a female spy of the future, working undercover by the Mediterranean Sea,” debuts tonight on The New Yorker‘s NYerFiction Twitter account.

Portions of the 8,500-word piece will be tweeted once per minute, in 140 character increments, between 8 to 9 pm Eastern Time for 10 straight nights, starting tonight.

Egan’s story, which she described as “terse mental dispatches” or “bulletins” to The New Yorker, was written with the microblogging site’s character limitations in mind.

“I’d also been wondering about how to write fiction whose structure would lend itself to serialization on Twitter,” Egan told The New Yorker.

“This is not a new idea, of course, but it’s a rich one—because of the intimacy of reaching people through their phones, and because of the odd poetry that can happen in a hundred and forty characters.”

Will readers tune in?

Vulture magazine called the tweeting per minute “potentially upsetting” and “annoying” but noted “Egan wrote a piece of short fiction as a listicle for The Guardian last summer and that “didn’t suck.”

Something tells us master serializer Charles Dickens would approve.

“Black Box” will run in its entirety on Monday in The New Yorker’s first Science Fiction Issue.

Photo via Mikey Angels/Flickr

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*First Published: May 24, 2012, 6:32 pm CDT