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About the Author
Meredith Castile is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, USA, and is an ongoing contributor of articles and book reviews for The Vienna Review.
"Ranging across the 20th century and between continents, Castile teaches a fundamental 'lesson' about the license: what's meant to fix an identity in fact generates competing meanings and values. Freedom and control, security and vulnerability, authenticity and fakery, youth and maturity. The book's Kerouacian opening and mix of pop culture references, personal anecdote, and philosophical musings invite attention to this overlooked but ever-present object." --Heather Houser, Assistant Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin, USA, and author of Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction
"The Object Lessons series achieves something very close to magic: the books take ordinary--even banal--objects and animate them with a rich history of invention, political struggle, science, and popular mythology. Filled with fascinating details and conveyed in sharp, accessible prose, the books make the everyday world come to life. Be warned: once you've read a few of these, you'll start walking around your house, picking up random objects, and musing aloud: 'I wonder what the story is behind this thing?'"--Steven Johnson, best-selling author of How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
"The Object Lessons project, edited by game theory legend Ian Bogost and cultural studies academic Christopher Schaberg, commissions short essays and small, beautiful books about everyday objects from shipping containers to toast. The Atlantic hosts a collection of "mini object-lessons," brief essays that take a deeper look at things we generally only glance upon ('Is bread toast only insofar as a human toaster perceives it to be "done?" Is bread toast when it reaches some specific level of nonenzymatic browning?'). More substantive is Bloomsbury's collection of small, gorgeously designed books that delve into their subjects in much more depth." --Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"Driver's License is almost two short books in one. One part contains several personal stories, which evoke the much-mythologized independence of American teenagers now free to drive themselves. The other part becomes, like Hood, a condemnation of racial injustice. This section describes the de facto disenfranchisement of minority groups in the U.S. It explains how this disenfranchisement - not only when it comes to voting, but also for accessing basic social services - depends on the bureaucratic mechanics of the driver's license and other forms of ID. Being undocumented or unable to afford driving lessons are just two of the obstacles to exercising full citizenship, and Driver's License takes some interesting left turns to arrive at this message. Verdict: Buy. American culture so heavily fetishizes the car, yet the driver's license is also hugely important to a sense of identity and possibility." -Book Riot