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

Library of America
Curator

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More
Publisher

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.


Browse our books Subscribe
Non-Profit

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Support our mission