“[G]enuinely funny…accurate, often filthy dispatches on what it is to be young and pushing against the world.”—The New York Times
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, underaged-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.
“Lin captures certain qualities of contemporary life better than many writers in part because he dispenses with so much that is expected of current fiction.”—David Haglund, The London Review of Books
“Richard Yates is neither pretentious nor sneering nor reflexively hip. It is simply a focused, moving, and rather upsetting portrait of two oddballs in love.”—The Boston Globe
“There is danger and sadness in his work, but not defeat.”—Hillel Italie, Associated Press
“[A] batty and precisely penned novel….[Tao Lin] has, in methodically stacked increments, become a legitimate writing presence.”—Carrie Battan, The Boston Phoenix
“[Lin's] lean and often maniacal sentences propel the work forward with a slanted momentum. What first seems like a stock tale of romance gone sour evolves into a parable about the fickleness of human desire and the futility of detachment when it comes to love.”—Time Out New York
“Richard Yates is hilarious, menacing, and hugely intelligent. Tao Lin is a Kafka for the iPhone generation. He has that most important gift: it’s impossible to imagine anyone else writing like he does and sounding authentic. Yet he has already spawned a huge school of Lin imitators. As precocious and prolific as he is, every book surpasses the last. Tao Lin may well be the most important writer under thirty working today.”—Clancy Martin, author of How to Sell
“Richard Yates is a moving, very funny, discomforting, and heartbreakingly life-affirming meditation on extremes—extreme alienation, extreme intimacy, extreme confusion, extreme expectations—that reads like a meticulously and lovingly crafted collaboration between a weirder Ernest Hemingway and a more philosophically-minded Jean Rhys.”—James Frey, author of Bright Shiny Morning A Million Little Pieces
“[Richard Yates] is like a ninety-foot pigeon. You’ve never seen anything like it before, and yet it is somehow exactly like the world we live in.”—Daniel Handler, author of Adverbs
“[Tao Lin's] relentless, near-autistic focus on the surfaces of social interaction belongs to a literary lineage that includes not just the frequently cited Bret Easton Ellis but also Alain Robbe-Grillet, Rudy Wurlitzer, and Dennis Cooper.”—The Village Voice
PRAISE FOR TAO LIN’S PREVIOUS BOOKS
“A revolutionary.” —The Stranger (Seattle)
“His prose retains the energy of an outlaw.”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Trancelike and often hilarious.” —The Guardian