A pickpocket arbitrates a sidewalk dispute between corporate bean-counters. A young man describes his initiation into the white-collar world of advertising. An executive reflects on working in a private office environment versus an open setting. These are just a few of the stories in a one-of-a-kind literary collaboration released today, titled Speaking of Work: A Story of Love, Suspense and Paperclips, that tells the ultimate story of the modern workplace.
The book is the culmination of Xerox’s (NYSE: XRX) Project: SET THE PAGE FREE™, in collaboration with the 92nd Street Y. Fourteen award-winning international writers and creative talents each contributed their views and memories of work and working. The free eBook can be downloaded at www.SetThePageFree.com.
“These stories take place on street corners and in classrooms, in parking lots and Genius Bars. And because this virtual office is occupied by writers, who are rarely in danger of under-thinking an issue, there’s also plenty of nostalgia, for longing for the days of warm photo copies and nubby carpeting,” says New York Times bestselling author Sloane Crosley in the book’s introduction.
The contributing authors and creative talents include:
- Jonathan Ames, author, screenwriter, You Were Never Really Here, Bored to Death
- Lee Child, author, Jack Reacher thriller series
- Billy Collins, poet, The Rain in Portugal, Aimless Love
- Jonathan Coulton, singer-songwriter, Solid State, Smoking Monkey
- Sloane Crosley, author, essayist, The Clasp, I Was Told There’d be Cake
- Joshua Ferris, author, The Dinner Party and Other Stories, Then We Came to the End
- Jonathan Safran Foer, author, Here I Am, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
- Roxane Gay, author, Hunger, Bad Feminist
- Chip Kidd, award-winning graphic designer
- Valeria Luiselli, author, Tell Me How it Ends, The Story of My Teeth
- Alain Mabanckou, author, Black Moses, Broken Glass
- Aimee Mann, singer-songwriter, Mental Illness, Save Me
- Joyce Carol Oates, author, A Book of American Martyrs, We Were the Mulvaneys
- Gary Shteyngart, author, Little Failure: A Memoir, Super Sad True Love Story
“Project: SET THE PAGE FREE is a creative expression of the value Xerox has created since the company was founded – which started with helping people work, communicate and collaborate, and today transcends working freely between physical and digital worlds,” said Jeff Jacobson, chief executive officer, Xerox.
Xerox and the 92nd Street Y joined forces for this one-of-a kind project, tapping into Xerox’s technology to help the contributors collaborate, while 92Y secured the lineup of authors and provided editing for the final book.
92nd Street Y forges deep connections between readers and writers all over the world through their global literacy outreach programs, digital festivals, online seminars and livestream events.
“What a thrilling opportunity to commission the brilliant writers who grace our storied stage to explore questions of work today and together create our very own modern workplace in the process,” said Bernard Schwartz, director of 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center.
Contributors Jonathan Ames, Lee Child, Sloane Crosley, Joshua Ferris, Chip Kidd, Alain Mabanckou and Joyce Carol Oates will read selections from the book and discuss their experiences with the project at a launch event on Friday, Oct. 27, at the Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
As part of the project, Xerox is aiding global literacy through donations to 92Y and Worldreader, a global nonprofit organization that champions digital reading in underserved communities.
“Content no longer needs to be confined by format or borders. We are committed to harnessing the power of technology to bring information and inspiration to readers around the world. This project makes that connection and shows how technology can bring powerful new possibilities to life,” said David Risher. CEO, Worldreader.
“In this campaign, we captured Xerox’s belief that the written word is increasingly meaningful in today’s digital world, which is the embodiment of setting the page free. The work shows the amazing results that came out of a deep collaboration between creative minds across literature, brand and agency,” said Leslie Sims, chief creative officer, Y&R New York.
Xerox Corporation is an $11 billion technology leader that innovates the way the world communicates, connects and works. Our expertise is more important than ever as customers of all sizes look to improve productivity, maximize profitability and increase satisfaction. We do this for small and mid-size businesses, large enterprises, governments, graphic communications providers, and for our partners who serve them.
We understand what’s at the heart of work – and all of the forms it can take. We embrace the increasingly complex world of paper and digital. Office and mobile. Personal and social. Every day across the globe – in more than 160 countries – our technology, software and people successfully navigate those intersections. We automate, personalize, package, analyze and secure information to keep our customers moving at an accelerated pace. For more information visit www.xerox.com.
92nd Street Y is a nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world’s best minds; an outstanding range of programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y is reimagining what it means to be a community center in the digital age with initiatives like the award-winning #GivingTuesday, launched by 92Y in 2012 and now recognized across the US and in a growing number of regions worldwide as a day to celebrate and promote giving. These kinds of initiatives are transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action both locally and around the world. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y’s digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit www.92Y.org.
Worldreader is a global nonprofit that believes everyone can be a reader. The organization provides students and their families free access to its vast digital library via e-readers and mobile phones. Since 2010, over 6 million people across 50 countries have read from a digital library of over 40,000 local and international e-books on Worldreader platforms. Worldreader works with device manufacturers, local and international publishers, government agencies, education officials, and local communities to support readers everywhere. To read free books on your mobile phone, visit read.worldreader.org. For more information on Worldreader, please visit www.worldreader.org.