Remarkably, M.T. Anderson published his novel for young adults, Feed, prior to Twitter, Facebook and the avalanche of smartphone apps that track one’s every consumer interest. When it first reached the market, Feed was a cautionary tale about a rather distant future in which microchip implants in the brain allowed for 24/7/364 uninterrupted connection to a global network run by a heartless global network bent on world domination. Today, it reads more like a historical analysis of the second decade of the 21st century.
Anderson was stimulated to create the prescient narrative tracked through the pages of Feed by his perception of an impossible-to-ignore dumbing down of the youth culture around him in comparison to those of previous generations. The twin domination of rampant consumerism and runaway information overload serve as the background for submission to stupidity experienced by his young protagonists.
Recognition was instantly and universally acclaimed. Feed became a finalist for the National Book Award for Young Adult Literature in 2002 and won the 2003 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction. Even more telling of the book’s status, perhaps, is its inclusion in a 2009 Booklist charting of the most essential dystopian YA novels of the modern era (an era almost defined by dystopic fiction like The Hunger Games and Divergent series) as chosen by writer Ian Chipman.