Sept. 17, 2012
-- In an upcoming novel, author E. Cooper Ostresh has used Occupy Wall Street to create themes and characters that help drive the plot. Ostresh is not the first writer to use the Occupy movement as a muse and he likely won’t be the last. Earlier this year writer Robert Sheppard released a novel that had appeared in a serialized form on the OWS general assembly website. The future will likely see many more works of fiction that piggyback on OWS for character inspiration, themes, and plot devices.
The use of current events to inspire fiction is certainly nothing new but how comprehensive will Occupy fiction be? If you listen to Ostresh, it could be quite comprehensive indeed. His upcoming novel “Boxman,”(visit http://the-
boxman.com/ for details) blends a heist novel with the social inequalities that the OWS movement addresses. It would seem like safe cracking and civil disobedience are strange bedfellows but Ostresh says that isn’t the case. “I was always intending to bring safe cracking down to earth. I wanted to make it more real, less fantastic, and more working class. My characters are all regular blue collar people who turn to safe cracking because they are underemployed and frustrated. The feeling that the meritocracy is broken, and the game is rigged correlates well with Occupy (Wall Street) so it became a pivotal part of the plot.”
So what is the future of Occupy fiction? The diversity in the movement lends itself to a wide variety of stories that certainly could have a broad appeal for readers. Time will tell what genres of fiction Occupy will wiggle its way into. Could there be an Occupy romance? An Occupy murder mystery? Occupy Zombies? If you ask Ostresh, there already is an Occupy Horror, but it is the inequality and that is non-fiction.