CFP: [20th] Anthology - Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk

full name / name of organization: 
Jeffrey A. Sartain
contact email:

Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk
Jeffrey A. Sartain, Editor

Abstracts Due: July 20, 2008
Abstract Word Count: 250
Send to: Jeffrey Sartain (


With eleven books in print and seven on the New York Times Best Sellers
List, Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most popular and successful novelists
in the current generation of American writers. My project, Sacred and
Immoral: On the Writing of Chuck Palahniuk, examines Palahniuk’s
emergence as one of the most beloved and important contemporary authors
working in American letters. To date, only Palahniuk’s seminal first
novel, Fight Club (1996), has received any concerted attention from
academic sources. Even though the books and articles on Fight Club are
multiplying at a rapid rate, their angles of inquiry have stagnated.
Sacred and Immoral is designed to invigorate Palahniuk criticism by
examining many of Palahniuk’s novels for the first time. Chuck
Palahniuk’s popularity and massive fan base substantiates his fiction as
culturally vital literature worthy of serious intellectual consideration
by academics. Rather than dismissing his ability to speak meaningfully to
such a large and diverse audience as evidence of its lack of intellectual
depth, Sacred and Immoral treats Palahniuk’s popularity as indication of
the cultural significance of his work in contemporary culture.

Sacred and Immoral’s structure, as an anthology of academic essays
surrounding a single author’s work, is the broadest, most comprehensive
study of Palahniuk’s fiction to date. As such, it provides the essential
stepping stones for future scholarship addressing Palahniuk’s fiction,
including articles, dissertations, monographs, and syllabi. The central
thesis of Sacred and Immoral, around which all of the chapters are built,
is that Chuck Palahniuk’s writing constitutes a vibrant, critical force
in contemporary American literature and culture, and to adequately treat
his place in American literature, academics must have critical and
theoretical frameworks upon which to build pedagogical and research-
oriented projects focused on Palahniuk’s fiction.

Sacred and Immoral represents an opportunity to expand the extremely
narrow domain of academic inquiry around Palahniuk’s fiction by offering
the first critical examinations of most of Palahniuk’s post-Fight Club
books. Palahniuk’s novels extend the influence of literature every day,
directly by gaining new readers, or indirectly by teaching online writing
workshops, giving personal recommendations of new authors to read, and
through the adaptations of his literature into other media. All of
Palahniuk’s novels have been optioned for film adaptations, and in June
2007, production began on Clark Gregg’s adaptation of Choke, starring
Anjelica Huston and Sam Rockwell, due to be released in September 2008.
Regardless of the form, Palahniuk’s influence is far-reaching and
critical on the landscape of contemporary American literature and popular
culture. It is an opportune time for an anthology on Palahniuk’s
literature, as his eager fan base are anticipating both new primary works
of Palahniuk’s, as well as new adaptations of his work. Sacred and
Immoral answers the pressing need for informed critique and analysis that
treats Palahniuk’s fiction with the academic rigor due to such thoughtful
and important literature.


This anthology is already contracted with a publisher, and will be going
to the press at the end of the summer. We're looking for
authors/articles who can help round out the anthology's discussion of
Palahniuk's later fiction (Choke, Diary, Lullaby, Haunted, Rant) and
Palahniuk's journalism/nonfiction (Fugitives and Refugees, Stranger than

Possible topics include:

         *Palahniuk's relationship to genre fiction
         *Horror in Diary/Lullaby/Haunted
         *Science-Fiction and Rant
         *Minimalism and Palahniuk
         *Journalism and Palahniuk's nonfiction
         *Journalistic detail in Palahniuk's fiction
         *The role of sex and gender in Palahniuk's work
         *Historical materialism and Palahniuk's later work
         *Adaptation of Palahniuk's work into other media (Fight Club
movie, video game, Choke as a film, fan fiction, fan comics, fan
audiobook readings, fan documentaries, fan websites, Palahniuk's official

     This anthology is desgined to reflect a diverse array of literary
perspectives and methodologies, so be creative and bold with your
approaches to Palahniuk's work. We're working on a tight timeline for
abstracts, as we've got a pretty tight publication deadline. Please only
reply if you're sure you can deliver the chapter in a timely manner.

Please send 250-word abstracts to Jeffrey A. Sartain
( by July 20. You will be notified within a week
regarding your abstract's status.

Many thanks, and I look forward to reading your work!

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Received on Mon Jun 23 2008 - 17:30:12 EDT

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