• Despite a strong pedigree of textual scholarship in literary studies, the study of contemporary literature often eschews such methods on the grounds that there is an insufficient archive to fully comprehend the production of just-published work. In this article I argue for a turn to textual scholarship in the field of contemporary literary studies through the comparison of geographically diverse publications of texts serving as documentary co-archives of emergence. To make this case I document the two very different versions of Jennifer Egan’s first-published collection of fiction, Emerald City (1993 and 1996), charting the interpretational consequences of her editorial processes within that early work.