An Abundance of Katherines Background

An Abundance of Katherines Background

An Abundance of Katherines (2006) is a novel by John Green who is a highly regarded Young Adult (YA) Fiction author. He maintains a substantial online following especially on Youtube where he and his brother Hank make videos, such as the popular Crash Course series, watched by a fan community who are called Nerdfighters. His goals in that online community are echoed thematically in An Abundance of Katherines: to make the world better by imagining others complexly.

Katherines is also a wonderful investigation into the psychology of intelligent young adults: into their arrogant solipsism and narcissism, their tragic loneliness and world-weariness, and ultimately into their redemption and peace. The book is a bildungsroman, uniquely interested in romance and its effect on the self. He positions a brilliant mathematic prodigy in close proximity with situations that challenge his rigorously logical approach to life. Through the story, Green encourages a more organic and others-centric attitude, themes which are infectious for the readers of the book.

The book is enjoying a resurgence as Green's latest novel The Fault in Our Stars has lately received public acclaim that even led to a very successful movie rendition. In July 2015, the movie rendition of Green's Paper Towns starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delvigne was released, and his novel Looking for Alaska is also being made into a movie. Although An Abundance of Katherines is not as prolific as John Green's latest works, it is still a beloved part of his corpus, continually cited by Green's fans for its inspirational and constructive elements.

The book is also one of the clearest displays of John Green's appreciation for the late great David Foster Wallace, in that it cites mathematics in an intelligent, thematic way and makes use of footnotes, a trademark of Wallace's, whom Green has openly spoke of as one of his favorite authors and his hero. Like Wallace's work, An Abundance of Katherines is an attempt to dissuade the reader of their natural default setting towards selfishness and solipsism.

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