The work of Generation X author DOUGLAS COUPLAND is loaded with pop culture references. His new novel, Girlfriend In A Coma, deals with

The Smiths, The X-Files and catatonia. Words: Peter Ross Illustration: Stephen Chester

The Big Slee

THEY FILM THE X-Files at the bottom of Douglas Coupland’s street. Coincidence or conspiracy? Certainly the plot of the Canadian author’s new novel, which contains allusions to everyone’s fave paranoid TV show, would present a considerable challenge to Mulder and Scully.

It’s Christmas, I979 and Karen Ann McNeil pops her cherry with boyfriend Richard. Two downers and a Coke later, she slips into a coma

TIEUSI’ 16—30 Apr 1998

from which she won’t emerge until 1997. Even giving birth to a daughter nine months down the line doesn’t wake her up. Meanwhile the world keeps turning and Karen’s friends grow into 908 people obsessed with work, cash, trivia and recreational drug use. Awakening, Karen judges the world through an innocent 70$ perspective, declares it to have changed for the worse and reveals visions of an apocalypse coming all too soon.

Douglas Coupland came to prominence in l99l with the publication of his first novel Generation X (he coined the term), a tale of three under-employed, over-educated twentysomethings who quit their high- powered city careers and split for the desert, where they drink booze, neck pills and work at McJobs in the service industry. The book gave America’s slacker culture a name and articulated the feelings of a generation.