We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


The Lost Generation, the Beat Generation, the Blank Generation. And then there’s Generation X. In 1964, Charles Hamblett and Jane Deverson published “Generation X”. Capitalizing on the recent Mod-Rocker riots, the pop-sociology book promised to expose “What’s behind the rebellious anger of Britain’s untamed youth.” In 1976, Billy Idol christened his new band after the book. And in 1991, Douglas Coupland appropriated the term for his first novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. The third time around, it seems, the name stuck. Coupland’s novel, and his witty marginal definitions of terms such as “McJobs” and “tele-parablizing,” captured the contemporary Zeitgeist. So much so that Coupland is now as tied to Generation X as Jack Kerouac is to the Beat Generation. Coupland explains: “It’s my Campbell’s Soup Can.” But Coupland has outlasted his 15 minutes of fame and continues to successfully chronicle the lives of his aging peers. His latest novel, Miss Wyoming, follows a former beauty queen and quickly fading TV star, Susan Colgate. Assumed dead in a horrific plane crash, she embraces the opportunity to make a fresh start. Meanwhile, a successful Hollywood producer renounces all his worldly goods based on a foggy near-death vision of the actress. (When it’s already too late, he realizes he has only seen a sitcom rerun.) Of course, the two eventually meet. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Mark W. Sullivan)