Roberto Bolaño and ZOMBIES!

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Jane Austen isn’t the only undead game in town. There’s Zone One, the new novel from Colson Whitehead that’s been getting so much coverage it’s spreading across outlets like, well, a zombie contagion. And now Granta has released a “black, white, and blood-red animated graphic novel inspired by Roberto Bolaño’s short story ‘The Colonel’s Son.’”

The story, which is available in Granta 117, the star-studded horror issue, follows the “reckless adventures of Colonel Reynolds, his son and the girl he loves as they make their way through a treacherous landscape laced with bullets and monsters.”

Before you disregard this as “genre fiction” (which you should stop doing anyway), take a cue from Colson’s recent interview with the Atlantic:

When I was starting the book, I would say, “I’m writing a horror novel with zombies.” And my sort of bookish friends would say [adopts a clipped, defensive tone]: “I don’t like zombies. I don’t like zombie books.”

And I’d ask them, “Well, what zombie books have you read? What zombie films have you seen?” None.

And why an animated graphic novel? Michael Salu, Granta’s artistic director (who collaborated on the film with Owen Freeman and Eduard Prats Molner), says, “Nothingbutamovie.com is a further reminder that literature provides the greatest visual inspiration. Our use of new platforms reflects our desire to make great writing as visible as possible.” Sounds pretty dead-on to me.

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Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. In the event of a zombie outbreak, he believes doormen will be Manhattan’s first line of defense.

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