In Brief

The Book By Strangers has one hundred writers who contributed either a sentence or a page

The Book By Strangers is an experiment in anonymous collaboration. Copywriter Hampus Elfström asked random San Franciscans to write a book—whether they contributed a sentence or a page—based on what the previous writer created. Morphing from a narrative about adventure-seeking squirrels to a freshly-budding romance in the Bay Area, it’s fascinating how different individuals interpreted the direction (some more seriously than others).

The idea of collaborative books isn’t anything new— in 1989, author Ken Kesey wrote Caverns with his University of Oregon Creative Writing class— but The Book By Strangers draws its charm from its whacky flaws. Elfström kept the author’s handwritten narratives, spelling mistakes included, and the resulting inconsistencies is oddly intimate.

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