Alice in Cyberland: Susan Crimp Pens Text-Message Version of Lewis Carroll’s Classic


This morning, DNA Info reported on a Midtown author who has written a modern update of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Translating classic literature into language kids can understand is nothing new, but author Susan Crimp has taken it to a new level by one-upping Tao Lin and writing a novel entirely through a series of text messages.

The book, entitled Alice’s Adventures in NYC Wonderland: The Text Generation, tells the tale of Alice, a nine-year-old girl from the Bronx who moves to the Upper West Side and falls down a rabbit hole near the actual Alice statue at East 75th Street. The book itself features a “text to English dictionary,” for those not of the LOL generation. Here’s an excerpt:

U see, while th Alice n thz story hs enjoyed 1 great adventure + is happy ☺ 2 share it wth U, she actually jst wants 2 get back 2 her real life + school work, + enjoy family + friends + FB + Twitter + Texting ☺ + she doesn’t want 2 bcome a Bstar like J.K Rowling or Amanda Hocking.

Phrases used frequently throughout the novel include “DGT,” for “don’t go there,” “NARK,” for “Not a rich kid,” “DMML,” meaning “don’t make me laugh,” and “SWS,” as in “She was starving.” We’ve never heard those acronyms before, but maybe nine-year-olds have their own texting slang these days? Are there a lot of texting nine-year-olds?

The author, Susan Crimp, is a journalist under that name, but wrote the book under quasi-pseudonym SMJ Crimp. Runnin’ Scared spoke to her today about the book. She said she was inspired to help bring the classics to children when she saw bookstores across the city shutting down.

“For me it’s heartbreaking that bookstores are closing down,” she said. “There’s always Amazon, but there’s something very intriguing about walking into a bookstore. That’s an experience most of us have had our entire lives, and that experience is being lost. And now, with the advent of iPads and other devices, so much time is being spent on electronics that used to be spent reading.”

Crimp discussed how the novel was designed to play into digital culture. “I wanted to speak to kids in their own language, or a language they can understand,” she said. “Above all, it’s meant to be fun. I’m sure people will say that there are other ways to get kids to interact with great books. And this was my way or, at least a way, to get young people to connect with great stories.”

4 mor info on th book go 2 Amazon.