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Big Mall (Paperback)

Big Mall By Kate Black Cover Image
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A phenomenology of the mall: If the mall makes us feel bad, why do we keep going back? In a world poisoned by capitalism, is shopping what makes life worth living?

Kate Black grew up in West Edmonton Mall - a mall on steroids, notorious for its indoor waterpark, deadly roller coaster, and controversial dolphin shows. But everyone has a favourite mall, or a mall that is their own personal memory palace. It's a place people love to hate and hate to love - a site of pleasure and pain, of death and violence, of (sub)urban legend.

Blending a history of shopping with a story of coming of age in North America's largest and strangest mall, Big Mall investigates how these structures have become the ultimate symbol of late-capitalist dread - and, surprisingly, a subversive site of hope.

"Speaking as a child of PacSun and Hot Topic myself, Big Mall is like a madeleine dipped in Orange Julius. Like a mall, the book itself has a lot of everything, a sublime mix of memoir, history, and cultural criticism. Kate Black is a learned Virgil in the consumerist Inferno, always avoiding the obvious and leading us to surprising connections--oil, suicide, Reddit, squatters, dolphins. Whether malls fill you with nostalgia or horror, this book will change your relationship to the world we've constructed around us." - Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens

"Before there was Instagram, there was the mall. But what happens when a seasonless, tacky, fantasyland is all you knew growing up? How does one embrace a genuinely fake experience? Or to be more precise, a fake but genuine experience? Kate Black's Big Mall is a smart, sentimental, and perspective-shifting look at the outsized role that big malls play in modern life. Love 'em or hate 'em, one thing's for sure: after reading this book, you'll never look at a mall in the same way again." - Ziya Tong, Science broadcaster & author of The Reality Bubble

About the Author

Kate Black's essays have been published in The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and Maisonneuve. In 2020, she was selected as one of Canada's top emerging voices in non-fiction by the RBC Taylor Prize and the National Magazine Awards. She grew up in St. Albert, Alberta, and lives in Vancouver.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781552454725
ISBN-10: 155245472X
Publisher: Coach House Books
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 184
Language: English