Richard Yates by Tao Lin (c2010)
Tao Lin is 27 years old and lives in Brooklyn. Some are touting him as America's next great novelist. His newest offering, Richard Yates, is titled after the author of the same name, but it is not at all about Richard Yates. The main characters are named Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning, but are not based on the real Haley Joel Osment or Dakota Fanning. Lin's Haley Joel Osment is a 20-something author/poet, possibly autistic, a vegan and a compulsive shoplifter. His Dakota Fanning is still in her teens, in therapy, bulimic and also a compulsive shoplifter. They meet over the internet and then in real life and stay in constant touch via cell phone calls, texting and gmail chat. Lin's treatment of them is detached, almost loathsome, but also hyperaware and vividly real, maybe even autobiographical. This is about as contemporary as fiction gets and I'm not 100% sure what to make of it... but I think I came away liking it. Is Tao Lin America's next great novelist? I'm not sure, but I intend to read more of his work. Check catalog for availability.
- submitted by Tom @ Mpl Central