Naked Came the Librarian is a serial novel by members of the Tredway Library staff. The title may give you some pause, cause you to giggle, or just wonder what the heck kind of coffee we’ve been drinking over here!
So here’s the historical background on serial novels with titles starting “Naked Came the…” In 1969, staffers at Newsday magazine were horrified by the quality of their modern-day literature, and vowed to write “the worst sex novel ever.” The staffers created Naked Came the Stranger and published it under a pseudonym, Penelope Ashe. The book went on to become a best seller, though it was never clear whether that popularity came because of the book itself or because people found out what the Newsday team had done.
As a sort of satirical homage to that novel, a number of collaborative serial novels have been published using “Naked Came the …” as the title. Naked Came the Manatee was published in the Miami Herald and included Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry, and Elmore Leonard as authors. Naked Came the Phoenix was a mystery spoof and featured chapters by Anne Perry and Nevada Barr. Other collaborations, like Naked Came the Farmer and Naked Came the Plowman, were published by local newspaper writers or writing groups, first in newspapers and later in book form.
While the Tredway Library in no way guarantees that our writing will be up to the level of Dave Barry, Nevada Barr, Carl Hiaasen or any other professional writer, we thought that creating an e-book would be a fun way to participate in Augustana’s Year of the Book Celebration. In other words, nudity isn’t necessarily a component of the book … but you’ll have to read a new chapter each month to find out if anyone gets naked … or if this whole experiment is just the library staff getting giddy on way too much sugar and caffeine from Brew by the Slough.
~Resources consulted in creating this summary include American Journalism Review, Booklist and Editor & Publisher.
Naked Came the Librarian: Chapter One
By Margi Rogal, Reference Librarian and Liaison to Fine and Performing Arts
My name is Aurelia Wintergarden. I spent my childhood correcting people’s pronunciation and spelling of my name. For a while, I signed my school papers with the name “Jennifer,” the prettiest and most ordinary name I could think of. “Aurelia” means “golden” in Latin, my mother told me; she said that “Aurelia Wintergarden” reminded her of moonlight on snow. Nice, but parents should remember that their children have to live through middle school.
Aurelia Wintergarden was just a little too strange for middle school boys to handle. They called me Aurora Borealis.
Click below to continue reading Chapter One.