Xerox and the 92nd Street Y in New York have recruited some big creative names, including Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Aimee Mann for their new anthology Speaking of Work: A Story of Love, Suspense and Paperclips, which is being released Monday and can be downloaded free.
The anthology features creative works which focus on the workplace, including twelve essays, short stories, and, erm, a song. As well as Oates and Mann, the book includes work by Gary Shteyngart and Lee Child, the poet Billy Collins, and musician Jonathan Coulton.
Xerox spent many years at the forefront of office settings, and became so popular that it became the default verb for ‘photocopying.’ Kevin O’Neill, an advertising professor at Syracuse University, notes, “they had a cultural footprint as a brand that was pretty big and vivid.”
I first learned about Xerox from the film Matilda, in which the precocious heroine produces adoption papers, copied from a book.
‘Where did you get those?’ exclaims her soon-to-be ex-mother, portrayed by Rhea Perlman.
‘From a book in the library,’ Matilda informs her. ‘I’ve had ’em since I was old enough to Xerox.’
‘Mother,’ I inquired. ‘What on earth does it mean to “Xerox?”‘
‘Well, my child,’ replied my mother, who never gave me cause to wish my teacher would adopt me. ‘It means to photocopy.’
Thank you, Xerox, for these precious childhood memories.
Matilda knew what was up. | Image Via Film Streams
The proceeds of Xerox’s Set the Page Free project, of which Speaking of Work is part, go to the 92nd Street Y and Worldreader, a nonprofit working towards global literacy. Xerox continues to produce copiers, printers, and scanners, but has also expanded to cloud computing and translation software. The anthology is meant to promote the persisting relevance of Xerox today. Toni Clayton Hine, chief marketing officer with the company says, “We took a leap of faith. In many respects, we weren’t sure what we were going to get. What we got back was really fantastic.”
The works included in the anthology deal with the theme of work, some mentioning Xerox and other artists using Xerox products while creating their pieces.
Copies of the book will be distributed to employees and it is available for free download here. Keep the Xerox legacy alive while enjoying free work by some amazing authors, and most importantly, help make sure telekentic children retain the ability to carry emergency adoption papers on them at all times in case they find a potential parent who appreciates their abilities.
Featured Image Via Annie Spratt For Unsplash