Douglas Coupland Biography
Douglas Coupland was born on December the 30th, 1961. The first four years he lived in Germany on a Canadian NATO base in Baden-Sollingen (former West Germany). His parents are: Doctor Douglas Charles Thomas and C. Janet Coupland. He is the third son out of four in the family. Douglas once said in an interview about his family that: I come from an unemotional, undemonstrative family . . .
The family returned to Vancouver in Canada when he was four years old (1965). He was raised there and both he and his parents still reside there. His parents still live in the same house they moved into when they returned to Canada from Germany. During his childhood, there was no sign of a religious upbringing - you could say, he grew up without a God. A funny thing he once said in an interview is, that sleep was very important to the family. He claims that he and other family members often missed class, simply because of the need to sleep!
Here is his High School Yearbook Entry. It is from 1979, when Douglas Coupland graduated from Sentinel Secondary School in West Vancouver. It was published in the "Olympian":
"Well-known for his Mustang and his sense of humour, Doug says that Sentinel was O.K. but he's glad to get out. Plans for the future include travel, wealth and owning a Shelby, while the prospect of university also lies ahead. Algebra 12 was Doug's worst memory of Sentinel, while walkabout and winning the school elections in grade 10 were among his favourite. To the undergrads Doug leaves the final Coupland and the advice 'Universities aren't concerned about high school transcripts.'"
After graduating, Coupland attended the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver in 1984. He traveled to Hawaii, Milan and Sapporo in Japan. In Japan he completed a two-year course in Japanese business science in 1986. After he came back home to Canada he enjoyed early, but somehow limited, success as a young sculptor. He managed to get a small solo-show at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Coupland's first big break came after he'd send the editor of a minor local paper, Malcolm Parry, a postcard. Parry was amused by what Coupland had written, while he was living in Japan, and he asked him to write a piece on a noted L.A. art dealer for the magazine. Douglas Coupland called the gig a Bottom-of-the-food-chain-piece with our office cubicles were like veal fattening pens. There was just no dignity...Douglas Coupland's first interest in Generation X came to life in 1988, when he wrote an article for Vancouver magazine. With the cartoonist Paul Rivoche, Coupland continued the project. The two creative minds did a comic strip for Vista (Toronto) which at that point was a short-lived magazine published by auto-parts magnate Frank Stronach. Not long after the small strip was finished, St. Martin's Press in New York asked him to write a guide to Generation X.Now Coupland moved to Palm Springs, in California (USA), and there he wrote his first and highly acclaimed novel, Generation X.
He has always resisted being called the spokes' person for his generation. As he at several points has said I speak for myself, not for a generation. I never have. Now he lives in several places, including L. A., Scotland and Milan, and he says that he divides his time fairly between those parts of the world.
He has won two Canadian National Awards for Excellence in Industrial Design. It is said about him, that he refuses to own furniture, collects only meteorites, art objects and letters, which he keeps locked up in a vault in Vancouver.Until today he has release six books, the last real novel was (Girlfriend in a Coma ) in 1998.Two of the books (Life After God and Polaroids From the Dead) are not really novels but just compilations of short stories and anecdotes, some of them are said to have been taken from his own life.
When you read Coupland's stories, you find many references to English music from the eighties. Coupland claims to be a big fan of music from that area and bands like OMD, The Smiths and New Order are among his favorites.
Written by Erik Mortensen