About the Book

Instant Karma

Instant Karma

October 2002
Trade Paperback · 112 Pages
$11.95 U.S. · $14.50 CAN · £7.99 U.K. · €8.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780872864085
City Lights Publishers


Recommended for These Courses


Instant Karma is a novel in the form of a diary written by an overzealous reader who daily browses the stacks of the Chicago Public Library in search of connections between obscure volumes, scrupulously footnoting his research, which seems to argue for the conspiracy of terrorism and art. Soon he begins to prepare his magnum opus—blowing up the library that he loves.

Alternating between sweeping pronouncements on art and society, and self-mocking accounts of the day’s humiliations, the diarist distills a sizable card catalogue of disparate books to fuel the destructive madness in his heart.

Mark Swartz is a writer from Chicago now living in Brooklyn. He works for the Museum of Modern Art as a copywriter and editor.