Miss(ed) Generation: Douglas Coupland’s Miss Wyoming


  • Mikkel Jensen Denmark




Douglas Coupland, Miss Wyoming, generational literature, irony, postmodernism, Bildungsromane


This article presents a reading of Douglas Coupland’s 2000 novel Miss Wyoming. Long before this novel was published Coupland had denounced the Generation X phenomena he had started in the early nineties, and this article examines Miss Wyoming’s intertextual references to Jack Kerouac as a representative of the Beat generation, which was the previous self-labeled literary generation in North America before the Generation X of the 1990s. Taking this relationship as a point of departure, the article also explores the novel’s relationship with the Bildungsroman, and it is suggested that the novel portrays communicative and emotional immaturity especially in relation to ideas of postmodernism and irony.


Andersen, Tore Rye (2007): Det Etiske Spejlkabinet, Aalborg: Aalborg University: http://vbn.aau.dk/research/det_etiske_spejlkabinet(13659782) (accessed30/11/2011).

Booth, Wayne C. (1974/1995): A Rhetoric of Irony, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Coupland, Douglas (1991/1993): Generation X – Tales for an Accelerated Culture, London: Abacus.

Coupland, Douglas (1994/1999): Life After God, London: Scribner.

Coupland, Douglas (1995): “Generation X’d. You were born in the 60s. Does that mean you have to pay for it for the rest of your life?”, Details, June issue.

Coupland, Douglas (1998): Girlfriend in a Coma, New York: Regan Books.

Coupland, Douglas (2000/2004): Miss Wyoming, London: Harper Perennial.

Coupland, Douglas (2003/2004): Hey Nostradamus, London: Harper Perennial.

Coupland, Douglas (2009): Generation A, London: William Heinemann.

Eco, Umberto (1984/2002): “Postmodernism, Irony, The Enjoyable”, Bran Nicol (ed.): Postmodernism and the Contemporary Novel – A Reader, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002.

Forshaw, Mark (2000): “Douglas Coupland: In and Out of ’Ironic Hell’”, Critical Survey, 12:3, 39–58.

Hutcheon, Linda (1988): A Poetics of Postmodernism, London: Routledge.

Iversen, Anniken Telnes (2009): Change and Continuity: The Bildungsroman in English, Tromsø: University of Tromsø: http://www.ub.uit.no/munin/bitstream/handle/10037/2486/thesis.pdf (accessed 30/11/2011).

Johnson, Ronna (2000): “’You’re Putting me on’: Jack Kerouac and the Postmodern Emergence”, College Literature 27:1, 22–38.

Kerouac, Jack (1957/2007): On the Road, East Rutherford: Viking Books.

Lohr, Steve (1994): “No More McJobs for Mr. X” New York Times, 29 May 1994.

Maltby, Paul (1991): Dissident Postmodernists: Barthelme, Coover, Pynchon, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

McCampbell, Mary, (2006): “On The Brink of Knowing a Great Truth”: Epiphany and Apocalypse in the Fiction of Douglas Coupland, Newcastle: University of Newcastle: https://theses.ncl.ac.uk/dspace/bitstream/10443/247/1/mccampbell06.pdf (accessed 30/11/2011).

McHale, Brian (1987): Postmodernist Fiction, London: Routledge.

Moretti, Franco (2000): The Way of The World, London: Verso.

Nicol, Bran (ed.) (2002): Postmodernism and the Contemporary Novel: a Reader, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Publishers Weekly, 28 February 1994, http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-671-87433-9 (accessed 22/10/2011).

Sørensen, Bent (2001): Labelling a Generation – Generationing the Text, Aalborg: Aalborg University.

Sørensen, Bent (2004): “Youth and Innocence as Textual Constructs in the Short Stories of J.D. Salinger and Douglas Coupland” OASIS 62, Odense: University of Southern Denmark.

Tate, Andrew (2007): Douglas Coupland, Manchester: Manchester University Press.




How to Cite

Jensen, M. (2011) “Miss(ed) Generation: Douglas Coupland’s Miss Wyoming”, Culture Unbound, 3(3), pp. 455–474. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.113455.



Independent Articles