Courtney Maum's "Touch" is a prescient portrayal of what's lacking in a society obsessed with the next best thing for technology. Maybe it's a bed that monitors if we're sleeping alone, or perhaps a sleek, second-skin suit that monitors our every movement.
Sloane, a trend forecaster hired by mega-tech firm Mammoth, must work to discover the next best thing. But what if that turns out to be something that requires zero technology? What if a return to *touch* is the next best thing?
Full of memorable characters, this novel has its finger on the pulse of present-day society. Hashtag #sexisdead. Hashtag #intimateagain.— Shelly Walston
From the author of the acclaimed I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, a satirical and moving novel in the spirit of Maria Semple and Jess Walter about a New York City trend forecaster who finds herself wanting to overturn her own predictions, move away from technology, and reclaim her heart.
Sloane Jacobsen is the most powerful trend forecaster in the world (she was the foreseer of "the swipe"), and global fashion, lifestyle, and tech companies pay to hear her opinions about the future. Her recent forecasts on the family are unwavering: the world is over-populated, and with unemployment, college costs, and food prices all on the rise, having children is an extravagant indulgence.
So it's no surprise when the tech giant Mammoth hires Sloane to lead their groundbreaking annual conference, celebrating the voluntarily childless. But not far into her contract, Sloane begins to sense the undeniable signs of a movement against electronics that will see people embracing compassion, empathy, and "in-personism" again. She's struggling with the fact that her predictions are hopelessly out of sync with her employer's mission and that her closest personal relationship is with her self-driving car when her partner, the French "neo-sensualist" Roman Bellard, reveals that he is about to publish an op-ed on the death of penetrative sex--a post-sexual treatise that instantly goes viral. Despite the risks to her professional reputation, Sloane is nevertheless convinced that her instincts are the right ones, and goes on a quest to defend real life human interaction, while finally allowing in the love and connectedness she's long been denying herself.
A poignant and amusing call to arms that showcases her signature biting wit and keen eye, celebrated novelist Courtney Maum's new book is a moving investigation into what it means to be an individual in a globalized world.
About the Author
Courtney Maum is the author of the novel I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and the chapbook "Notes from Mexico." Her short fiction, book reviews, and essays on the writing life have been widely published in outlets such as The New York Times, Tin House, Electric Literature, and Buzzfeed, and she has co-written films that have debuted at Sundance and won awards at Cannes. At various points in her life, she has been a trend forecaster, a fashion publicist, and a party promoter for Corona Extra. She currently works as a product namer for M-A-C cosmetics from her home in Litchfield County, CT.