By Tiffany Bartel
Whether to live forever and suffer the fight for dwindling resources and bask in the overdevelopment of the human race, or to die as nature intended.
As charming as living forever sounds, writer Drew Magary presents a dark vision of hauntingly realistic truths of immortality in his novel, The Postmortal.
A work which stresses the cons of the avoidance of aging, The Postmortal is a popular story among college-age students. The novel’s popularity was not intended by the author, but he is certainly pleased with the response.
Cuyahoga Community College’s English Department selected Magary’s novel for a college-wide Common Reading Program this semester, and thousands of students on all four campus locations are reading and studying the work. He will be at the Eastern Campus Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at noon, at the Western Campus the same day in the Theater beginning at 3 p.m., and at the Metro Campus Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts at 7 p.m. The following day, Magary will be at the Westshore Campus at 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He’ll be signing books at all stops.
Additionally, there will be a debate on the novel from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the North Galleria at the Western Campus. Debaters will argue the pros and cons of immortality, as portrayed in the novel. Tri-C is one of about a half-dozen colleges and universities which have selected Magary’s novel for college-wide common reading, to help foster a sense of community and spark conversations across the campus. Nearby Hiram College held a similar program in 2014.
“It’s probably a good college book because anyone can envision that scenario for themselves and then argue the ethics of it,” Magary said, commenting on The Postmortal’s reputation in colleges.
The idea for the “cure” in Magary’s novel was born from a 60 Minutes segment that featured Resveratrol, a member of a group of plant compounds called polyphenols, as a possible candidate for an anti-aging drug. “I was like ‘Oh then we’d all kill each other!’” said Magary after seeing the episode.
A columnist and writer for GQ and Deadspin, Magary is completing work on a second novel due out next year.