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Richard Yatesby Tao Lin
Synopses & Reviews
In a startling change of direction, cult favorite Tao Lin presents a dark and brooding tale of illicit love that is his most sophisticated and mesmerizing writing yet.
Richard Yates is named after real-life writer Richard Yates, but it has nothing to do with him. Instead, it tracks the rise and fall of an illicit affair between a very young writer and his even younger--in fact, under-aged--lover. As he seeks to balance work and love, she becomes more and more self-destructive in a play for his undivided attention. His guilt and anger builds in response until they find themselves hurtling out of control and afraid to let go.
Lin's trademark minimalism takes on a new, sharp-edged suspense here, zeroing in on a lacerating narrative like never before --until it is almost, in fact, too late.
"This slick yet affecting novel depicts the manically self-absorbed days and nights of 'Dakota Fanning' and 'Haley Joel Osment.' That the two share names with famous child stars, and that the title references a celebrated novelist, indicates our specific moment in time, but otherwise this is not a book 'about' either the actors or the author. Born in 1983, Lin (Shoplifting from American Apparel) portrays a generation unable to engage and left lost, lonely, and dangerously obsessive as a result. Gmail chat and text message appear in heavy rotation, as the young lovers become more and more incapable of anything beyond their melancholic fixation with each other. The prose is rhythmic and lean, but strangely captivating, ultimately serving to echo the lack of interest the characters seem to have in anything other than themselves. Following them proves disconcerting and exhausting, especially as nothing keeps happening. Lin's sensibility is hip and ironic, but also feels ominously clairvoyant. As the author himself has become something of an icon to the very generation he portrays, one gets the sense that the disaffected youth are in on something the rest of us can only read about; given how bleak that world appears, reading about it feels relentless enough." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
Tao Lin is the author of the novels Richard Yates and Eeeee Eee Eeee, the novella Shoplifting from American Apparel, the story collection Bed, and the poetry collections cognitive-behavioral therapy and you are a little bit happier than i am. Translations of his books have been published around the world, including in France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Norway, Serbia, South Korea, China, and Taiwan. He lives in Manhattan.
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