Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella

BY Charlie Markbreiter


ISBN: 9798985662818 (2022)

“Hey, Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here. And I have the biggest news ever.” Every episode starts like this. We’re Upper East Siders; Gossip Girl tells us we are. But also, we aren’t and never will be. All we can do is look inside. Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella follows Gossip Girl, an anonymous blog, and the prep school students she reports on, who snitch on each other for likes. They include: Nate, beautiful transgender himbo, Bernie Madoff’s son; Serena (It Girl); Dan (vengeful alt nerd). Meanwhile, in the year 2030, Gordon (former TV protege) starts writing for Gossip Girl 3: the Reboot. Will he self-sabotage? Or…? Gossip Girl began as a YA book series; it was first published in 2002, one year into America’s War on Terror. Soon adapted for TV, Gossip Girl premiered on the CW network in 2007, swerving through the Financial Crash, and ending in 2012, midway through the Obama years. Interlaced with essays on transsexuality, clones, dissociating, American Apparel, and affect theorist Lauren Berlant, Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella is a parasocial eulogy for the aughts.

With illustrations by River L. Ramirez

Charlie Markbreiter’s writing has been published in venues such as Bookforum, Art in America, and The New Inquiry, where he serves as the Managing Editor. A PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, he is also a mod of the Death Panel Discord, a free school/health justice forum. He is not a Gossip Girl character, or that’s what you think. He lives in New York. Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella is his first book.

Available from your favorite eBook retailer--ISBN 979-8-9856628-0-1 9.99 suggested retail price.
McKenzie Wark:

I love a book which invents its own genre. Which is why I love Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella. It’s some kind of auto(fan)fiction. Markbreiter uses the conventions of fanfiction as a dissociated way of writing about trans-ness. But it’s also a perfect form for his writing about social media, its effects on language, on style, on love, on attachment, on intellectual and emotional labor, on whatever the ruling class has become in this century. XOXO

Patti Harrison:

What Charlie Markbreiter presents before you is a chilling and true exposé on the deeply traumatic violence that rich fictional city teens who are 30 on the CW must endure in our society, a seminal tome that illuminates those who fight every day for their lives in the margins. mama mia! papa pia! baby has Diarrhea!

Jamie Hood:

That I would utter the word ‘wacky’ at all is an unusual event; that I would, then, apply it in a non-pejorative manner is downright, well, wacky. But Charlie Markbreiter’s Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella is like nothing you’ve encountered: a revisionary transsexual picaresque inside the gilded halls and bedchambers of Manhattan’s upper crust, as refracted through the CW’s soap opera cultural behemoth Gossip Girl. In Markbreiter’s reimagining, however, Nate’s phalloplasty costs more than Dan’s apartment, torturous sex chambers intervene like dream sequences, and the late Lauren Berlant speaks through the TV from beyond the grave. If the 2021 HBO reboot tried your patience, skip ahead to this one instead: a blend of cultural history, screenwriting satire, sex, drugs, and meditations on the ineluctable instability of the contemporary subject. Markbreiter leaps from cheeky text message conversations to affect theory without blinking an eye, writing in perfectly current, sexy, and hilariously deadpanned prose like a millennial Kathy Acker. Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella is not only a blast, but culturally unmissable.

Lucy Ives:

A requiem for Lauren Berlant wrapped in a reanimation of the deeply of-its-time prep-school soap, Charlie Markbreiter’s novella is also a beautiful, relentlessly inventive page-turner of an essay of autotheory. I didn’t watch Gossip Girl and now I’ll never need to, because Markbreiter has created a realer, weirder, freer projection—a series of interconnected worlds where the dead speak, get high, watch TV; philosophers compete; and familiar characters chew the scenery while an enigmatic television writer leads us gingerly toward a reconciliation with love.

Katherine Packert Burke, full-stop.net:

What becomes clear over the course of Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella is that no one has a very good grasp on what constitutes “normalcy” or “real life.” Or maybe that’s not fair; maybe the real point is that everyone is constructing their ideas of normalcy out of the pop culture visions they absorb, the “substratum of the hive mind’s dream,” as Nate calls TV. Normalcy is necessarily constructed in opposition to the unglamorous, the poor. …fandom, as Vander Ark’s story shows, is not necessarily more democratizing than any other contemporary community. That desire can always turn; “to have,” as Nate’s child psychiatrist tells him, “is only possible via the potential for loss.” But while it lasts it can be, as any love can, remarkable.