The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
The eagerly-awaited follow-up to the bestselling and prize-winning White Teeth, which established Zadie Smith as an outstanding new writer. 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. 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. 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.