“Feed” Author M.T. Anderson gives presentation on summer reading book

Molly Manley, Editor-in-Chief

On Nov. 15, author of summer reading book “Feed” M. T. Anderson visited RMHS to speak to students in English classes about his book and answer any questions they may have. The school’s relationship with the Arlington Heights Memorial Library made the author visit possible.

Anderson is an award-winning author, a recipient of the National Book Award in 2006 for Burger Wuss and a finalist in 2002 for Feed. His target audience spreads throughout all ages, “Feed” specifically for young adults.

For the first hour, Anderson read two selections from the book and spent most of this time explaining how he developed the futuristic language and culture for the novel since it is set in the future.

Anderson said he gained most of his inspiration from how language has changed over the years, drawing from how he spoke as a teenager. He felt that it was important that the slang he created developed the universe he was creating, while still being dictated by the narrator.

One of his biggest inspirations for the dystopian novel was how people are constantly exposed to advertising and the fact that the life he wanted to live was already reflected in advertising. Anderson said he was also influenced by how closely connected technology and commerce were.

Anderson spent a great deal of time focusing on the importance of developing his language for the novel before opening the discussion to questions for the last 30 min.

When asked about his writing process, Anderson explained how he wrote “Feed” without a plan because he wanted the emotions and internal thoughts of the main character, Titus, to influence the direction of the story.

“Writers make a huge mess on the route to that finished book,” Anderson said while explaining the editing process for novels. He said because he wrote “Feed” so fluidly, he had to cut a lot of nonessential points out of the story.

Anderson was a humorous speaker who kept his audience engaged by not only covering his own writing, but by also discussing current issues and future possibilities about advertising and technology.