Dear would-be literary agent,
My name is Phil Campbell and I am writing to solicit your representation for my second book and debut novel Memphis Del Mar.
My first book, a memoir, is Zioncheck for President: A True Story of Idealism and Madness in American Politics. It was published by Nation Books in 2005, and it was praised by The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, The Chicago Reader, Punk Planet, and Bookslut, among others. Hollywood producer/director Stephen Gyllenhaal, the head of the Hollywood Gyllenhaal family, filmed an adaptation of Zioncheck last year; the film will be released in theaters this spring.
Memphis Del Mar is the world’s first “global-warming comedy.” Its satirical premise is akin to the speculative fiction of Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, Rupert Thomson, and Gary Shteyngart. In Memphis Del Mar, the ice caps have melted and America has lost half the South to floodwaters. Which means that Memphis, Tennessee is now a coastal city. Which means that Memphis city council president David Overton must decide how he feels about an ambitious development plan to turn his Old Southern town into a posh new Miami. And it means that, at the Regal Crest F——d* Apartments, a small band of local slackers must constantly scheme and plot to find free air conditioning in order to escape the blistering sun.
Memphis Del Mar is an old-fashioned romp into the American underbelly, in a style influenced by the likes of Charles Portis, George Saunders, and John Kennedy Toole. It offers a scenario that strikes a chord because it is utterly plausible. Global-warming doomsayers have been around for years, and people are familiar with the most extreme predictions. This book takes some of those predictions out for a spin: What if?
Memphis Del Mar is also a sophisticated repudiation of America’s obsession with apocalypse, both the religious and the hell-on-earth kind. See if you can spot the allusion to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
Thank you again for your time and consideration. Attached to this email is my manuscript, as well as some other materials you may find useful.
* F——d stands for “furnished.” As in, the Regal Crest Apartments used to be furnished, but now all that’s left is the sign with most of the letters missing.