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iUniverse.com and Pantheon Present House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski

New York - February 15, 1999 - iUniverse.com and Pantheon Books announced today that Mark Z. Danielewski's 734-page debut novel House of Leaves will be serialized on the Daily Section of the site for free (www.iuniverse.com/daily) from February 15th through March 17th. This is the first complete on-line serialization of a literary work of such magnitude by a major trade publisher prior to publication.

"Pantheon is tapping into the innovative power of House of Leaves and the expanding possibilities of the Internet as a means of reaching readers. We're very excited about the opportunities this extraordinary book offers us--this is a first for the Knopf Publishing Group," says Sonny Mehta, President of the Knopf Publishing Group (of which Pantheon is an imprint).

House of Leaves is a work of striking originality, a nightmarish fantasy about a small house in Virginia where a hallway appears and then begins to grow, spawning endless corridors and constantly mutating cavernous spaces. The story of the house is contained in a bizarre manuscript which narrator Johnny Truant discovers in a dead man's apartment. In trying to make sense of the manuscript, Truant realizes he must begin to make sense of his own twisted life.

With its textual innovations, original artwork, and color text (the word "house" appears in blue throughout the novel), Danielewski's novel is a powerful and intriguing artifact - a celebration of the book as object. Danielewski has also utilized cinematic editing techniques in his placement of the text on the page. He manipulates the layout to speed the readers up (for example, in the fast-paced exploration scenes there are only a few words on a page) or slow them down with tangled text, vertical footnotes, and spiraling words. The text of House of Leaves moves like a camera--turning corners, zooming, panning, fading. "Like Joyce and Proust, Danielewski isn't rejecting narration as much as customizing and turbo-charging it," says Bookpage.

While the serialization on the screen will allow readers an early look at the novel, it cannot replace the experience of reading House of Leaves in its book form. Additionally, the novel's stunning package, including jacket design and attractive price point (trade paperback original priced at $19.95, with a simultaneous, limited edition hardcover for $40.00), as well as its portability, will appeal to book buyers.

This flexibility and new vision of the boundaries of a book also lends itself to the Internet, which has clearly expanded the traditional domain of book publishing. This serialization enables Pantheon and iUniverse.com to reinvent the historic, Dickensian publishing formula - serialization of an entire work prior to publication - using a new technology. While publishers are beginning to use the Internet to release select chapters of a given work, some fear serialization will diminish the marketability and appeal of the printed book. Pantheon is confident that the early look at House of Leaves will intrigue and attract book buyers, and will serve to build pre-publication buzz fueled by great early quotes and starred advance reviews; bookseller enthusiasm; and early features on Danielewski in Publishers Weekly 's First Fiction package, Spin, Talk, Gear, Time Out, and Bookpage.

iUniverse.com is a full-service Web portal for readers, writers and book publishing professionals, and is partially owned by Barnes & Noble. The Daily Section is the online magazine that is handling the serialization, rolling out approximately seventy pages every three days until March 17th, when the book will move in its entirety to www.houseofleaves.com.

At the iUniverse.com House of Leaves homepage, users can not only read this spell-binding tale in its entirety, but they can download the Introduction plus the first forty pages. Users can also interact with other readers in the House of Leaves message board, join Danielewski for a conversation in an iUniverse.com chat room, read a feature article with interviews from Danielewski, his editor and his agent, view art files, hear audio clips, and enter contests to win signed limited-edition copies of House of Leaves or a $200 grand prize.

For information about the serialization, contact Dylan Foley at iUniverse.com, at (212) 807-7628 x15 or by e-mail at dylan.foley@iuniverse.com. To arrange an interview with Mark Danielewski, contact Sophie Cottrell at Pantheon Books, at (212) 572-2685 or by e-mail at scottrell@randomhouse.com.

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