Author(s): Zadie Smith
Alex-Li Tandem sells autographs. A small blip in a huge worldwide network of desire, it is his business to hunt for names on paper, collect them, sell them, occasionally fake them, and all to give the people what they want: a little piece of fame. Pushing against the tide of his generation, Alex-Li is on his way to finding enlightenment, otherwise known as some part of himself that cannot be signed, celebrated or sold. The autograph man is a deeply funny, existential tour around the hollow things of modernity, celebrity, cinema, and the ugly triumph of symbol over experience.