At a national chain restaurant recently, author Jonathon Safran Foer discovered he had nothing to read. No book, no magazine, no newspaper. Not even a smart phone. He decided this was no way to eat lunch.
Foer, author of Eating Animals, decided to email the CEO of Chipotle, where Foer had managed to survive a lunch without reading material.
Even though Foer’s a vegetarian, and Chipotle serves meat, he pitched an idea to CEO Ells, who decided he liked it. He wanted to try it out.
Chipotle calls it Cultivating Thought, and now their disposable cups and paper bags bear the works of several authors, including Toni Morrison, George Sauders, and Michael Lewis, a Vanity Fair contributing editor, as well as idea-man Foer.
Foer, the editor of the project, isn’t promoting the chain’s burritos. He’s only interested in getting some good writing on these everyday surfaces.
He said, “ . . . what interested me is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing. A lot of those people don’t have access to libraries, or bookstores. Something felt very democratic and good about this.”
And how does this all work?
“I selected the writers, and insofar as there was any editing, I did it,” Foer said. “I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles. I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.”
So what could you do with two minutes of words? Your own words. Your novel or biography? Your poems or science fiction?
What unusual place and what unusual way could you introduce readers to your work?
We’re very interested in your thoughts on this.
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