Authors Name: 
Amsale Alemu
University: 
Harvard University
Category: 
Literature
Highly commended

Subverting the Tyranny of the Novel: Transmedia Storytelling in Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada

With the contention that transmedia is a useful literary tool to defamiliarizing the hegemony of the novel, this paper explores Ishmael Reed’s use of transmedia—the purposeful incorporation of other media forms to narrate and inform the same text—in Flight to Canada. This situates Reed’s work in conversation with both the historical black-American literary canon and contemporary works that employ post-modernity as commentary on social and racial difference. This paper begins with a discussion of the inversion of the Trope of the Talking Book before discussing television and “pseudo- events” as two examples of transmedia as presented in Flight to Canada.