Back Kit Reed, “The New You”

Kit Reed (1932–2017)
From The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women

Advertisements from the late 1950s and early 1960s suggesting that women could become slimmer by consuming (from left to right) Domino’s Sugar, Diet Delight canned fruit, and Post Grape Nuts. (Flickr / Advertising Archives [UK])

In 2006, when the late Kit Reed was asked about her “technique” for writing a story. She responded:

“‘Technique’ is a term I don’t think much about because for me, writing fiction is not a technical thing involving use of different narrative tools according to a diagram. It’s not mechanical, as in, insert Tab A into Slot B, etc. until you have whatever you think you are making. I believe in story. The characters create the story and in finding the right words to say exactly what I mean, I figure the story out.”

Her disregard for “technique” enabled her to write some forty novels and as many as 200 short stories over a period of more than sixty years. She wrote modernist satires, comic novels, psychothrillers, and horror fiction, but she was most famous for her works of science fiction. “The one thing they all have in common,” she said, “is that they are character-based.”

One of her most famous early stories is “The New You,” one of a series of dystopian satires about the intersection of advertising, body image, and diet and exercise. We present it as this week’s Story of the Week selection.

Read “The New You” by Kit Reed

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