Posted by Kathleen French on September 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm
On Thursday evening (September 23), Tao Lin, author, poet, and notorious blogger, gave a reading from his new novel Richard Yates. Does the book have anything to do with Richard Yates? No. Does Tao Lin care? Absolutely not. In the Q&A session Lin revealed numerous other potential titles, one of which was FREEDOM (with 19 exclamation points). Lin’s most recent novella Shoplifting from American Apparel received high praise and he has also authored a number of poetry collections as well as the novel Eeeee Eee Eeee.
Many in the audience, if unaware of Lin’s personae, likely found the reading rather unconventional–which by many standards it was. However, Lin’s soft-spoken, monotone style has a certain, indelible appeal. He read hilarious fragments from the book without cracking a smile, the principal characters names are Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning, and one of his tattoos simply reads “Fuck America.” Lin gave a signing at the end, and drew something in my personal copy of Richard Yates that only Lin could possibly explain. Overall, it was a fun event and an exciting stray from the conventional reading/Q&A norm.