Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lennon: An Icon Makes His Way into the Classroom

Here's an update on the novel I've been following for a while, John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe. In the summer and fall of 2010, many universities across the country have begun to assign the novel as part of their lit curriculum. Usually, the book is part of a course focusing on the genre of magical realism.

This is another testament to the fact that the novel continues to meet the criteria for cult fiction (or an underground novel) since neither I nor the author, William Hammett, knows how or why his novel was incorporated into the curriculum of various universities. As was noted in several earlier articles on this site, however, there is a strong word of mouth campaign about John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe. The book is passed around among friends or else it is spotted online or at an indie bookstore. The name Lennon draws attention, and at a time when metaphysics is enjoying new popularity thanks to a more generalized interest in all things quantum, the synergy of Lennon and metaphysics seems to be attracting people to the title.

As I've said before, this is usually how it begins with cult fiction--a strong interest in a title that flys below the radar. I continue to think that this book will be around for a very long time. It has staying power, and after three years it continues to surface in new places around the world.


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What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
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