Say Hello to Tamara Shopsin's LaserWriter II

Posted by MCD
April 30, 2021

Laseriitwitter Tamara Shopsin

Coming this October, it’s the incomparable Tamara Shopsin’s debut novel, LaserWriter II. This time, the author of Arbitrary Stupid Goal brings us the story of 19-year-old Claire and her brief career as a printer repair technician in gritty New York City, working for the legendary 90s indie Mac repair shop, TekServe. It was a different time and felt like a different place - but, filled with pixelated philosophy (and pixelated illustrations) and lots of printers, LaserWriter II is at its heart both a timely and timeless parable about an apple.

And if you don’t trust us, maybe you’ll trust Mr. John Hodgman himself, an expert it all things and also a man who was once a computer?

It’s easy to forget when Apple was the underdog, full of scrap and funk, giving cold tech an oddball humanity. It’s easy to forget all the oddball humans it drew together in places like Tekserve on 23rd St, the Old Reliable Macintosh Shop, and how unpolished, un-gleaming, un-fancy it was—along with New York City itself, one million years ago in the year 1999. But Tamara Shopsin doesn’t forget easily. As deft, funny, and thoughtful a fiction writer as she is a memoirist, Shopsin, somehow makes a page turner out of a trip into the works of a broken laser printer, into a past when broken computers — and people — were a little less disposable.

Or perhaps Robin Sloan, who knows a few things about unusual computer projects and eccentric independent storefronts:

“Early 1990s Mac computing” sounds niche, and maybe it is, but what a niche: packed full of interesting people who stumbled together across the bridge between the analog and the digital. If that holds any resonance for you at all, you will love, love, LOVE Tamara Shopsin’s new novel. Beautifully written and nerdily precise, LaserWriter II reveals the things we didn’t know then; it enlivened my own memories, gave them new context and richness. This is a really special book.

We’re very excited for you to read this one. In the meantime, we suggest you go follow Tamara Shopsin on Instagram.