Some Of Your Favorite Authors Are Writing Branded Short Fiction For Lexus

By Glynnis Comment

lexus.jpg“The Great American Road Trip: immortalized by Jack Kerouac, it holds a special place in the American romantic imagination. Now Lexus magazine is adding to the literature of the road with the 2008 Lexus Original Fiction Series,” reads the press release Lexus magazine (which exists!) sent out today. Just think, if Jack Kerouac was alive today, maybe he, too, would have contributed a chapter to “In The Belly of The Beast,” a collaboratively-written story that “chronicles a young couple’s cross-country journey from Brooklyn to the Bay Area in their Lexus IS F.” Not to knock Arthur Phillips, Curtis Sittenfeld, and Jane Smiley too hard for their involvement in something like this, but one hopes they got seriously paid. The whole idea of a car company commissioning fiction that flatters its product is just a little bit too much like something from a story by David Foster Wallace or George Saunders, neither of whom is involved, thank heavens. Here’s an excerpt of this exercise in haute ad copy, from Arthur Phillips’ chapter:

“‘Why not something more sensible?’

He actually said that about my new car when I pulled up in it. He was on the stoop, talking to the Syrian guys who ran the beer-and-mango bodega on our corner. I put one leg out, flexing the calf for a film noir dismount, purring, ‘IS F,’ and then I emerged, laughing, to hug him, because you cannot be more officially grown-up than accepting a wedding proposal and a job offer in the same week and then buying yourself a sweet Lexus sedan with your own money. He looked at the car, down the full length of it, his face a reprimand. ‘Nice wheels,’ said Aziz.”