LaserWriter II is a coming-of-age tale set in the legendary 90s indie NYC Mac repair shop TekServe – a voyage back in time to when the internet was new, when New York City was gritty, and when Apple made quirky computers for weirdos. Our guide is Claire, a 19-year-old who barely speaks to her bohemian co-workers, but knows when it’s time to strap on an antistatic bracelet.
Tamara Shopsin brings us a classic New York novel, an ode to the city that once was, that couldn’t feel more timely. Interweaving the history of digital technology with a tale both touchingly human and delightfully technical, Shopsin brings an idiosyncratic cast of characters to life with a light touch, a sharp eye, and an unmistakable voice.
Filled with pixelated philosophy and lots of printers, LaserWriter II is, at its heart, a parable about an apple.
Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for LaserWriter II
"Reading Tamara Shopsin is like smelling freshly cut grass The writing is snappy and strange and funny and full of a misanthropic humanism. It makes you feel happy to be a mess and alive."—MAIRA KALMAN
"At turns wistful and playful, a novel of appreciation for computers' dust and guts. Like its heroine, LaserWriter II is charming, inventive, and weirdly magnetic."
"Early 1990s Mac computing” sounds niche, and maybe it is, but what a niche: packed full of interesting people who stumbled together across the bridge between the
analog and the digital. If that holds any resonance for you at all, you will love, love, LOVE Tamara Shopsin's new novel. Beautifully written and nerdily precise, LaserWriter II reveals the things we didn't know then; it enlivened my own memories, gave them new context and richness. This is a really special book."
"It’s easy to forget when Apple was the underdog, full of scrap and funk, giving cold tech an oddball humanity. It’s easy to forget all the oddball humans it drew together in places like Tekserve on 23rd St, the Old Reliable Macintosh Shop, and how unpolished, un-gleaming, un-fancy it was—along with New York City itself, one million years ago in the year 1999. But Tamara Shopsin doesn’t forget easily. As deft, funny, and thoughtful a fiction writer as she is a memoirist, Shopsin, somehow makes a page turner out of a trip into the works of a broken laser printer, into a past when broken computers—and people—were a little less disposable."
"Tamara Shopsin's love for idiosyncratic New York City's institutions is as shimmery as the Empire State Building, as confident as a jaywalker, and as timeless as a bottle of Coca-Cola. I loved this precise and funny novel about a corner of local history that will delight anyone who touches a computer on a daily basis."
Shopsin makes her fiction debut with a delightfully wry tale . . . Illustrated with Shopsin's whimsical chapter icons and punctuated with animated—and admittedly silly—conversations between parts of computers and printers, the novel bounces through the history of digital technology, the fey atmosphere of geekdom, and Claire's shrewd, serene observations. Fresh and charmingly quirky.Kirkus (starred review)