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National Young Writers’ Festival Presents Tao Lin

Tao Lin is the product of an internet-shaped psyche. And he is also very, very good. The voice of his generation (or a voice of a generation) brings a special presentation to Alaska Projects.
By Madeleine Watts
August 26, 2013
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National Young Writers’ Festival Presents Tao Lin

Tao Lin is the product of an internet-shaped psyche. And he is also very, very good. The voice of his generation (or a voice of a generation) brings a special presentation to Alaska Projects.
By Madeleine Watts
August 26, 2013
  shares
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Tao Lin is one of those writers who has been described — occasionally with a weary rolling of the eyes — as a "voice of his generation". He is a writer whose style is Facebook-honed, irony-rich and heavy with pop culture references, a kind of writing in constant flux between a Ritalin-fuelled mania and an OxyContin slur. He is the product of an internet-shaped psyche. And he is also very, very good.

Sometimes I buy books because of their titles alone. That's how I first came across Tao Lin. A young American writer born to Taiwanese parents, Lin is the author of the novella Shoplifting from American Apparel, the short story collection Bed, poetry collections cognitive-behavioural therapy and you are a little bit happier than i am, and the novels Richard Yates and Eeeee Eee Eeee. He is maddeningly prolific, having also founded the literary press Muumuu House and co-founded the film company MDMAfilms, and his writing gets published in all the right places — Vice, The Believer, Thought Catalog, The New York Observer, Gawker.

As a lead-in event to the National Young Writers' Festival (held in Newcastle from 3-6 October), Lin will be speaking to Wilfred Brandt at Alaska Projects about his novel Taipei, with a slideshow of his photos from Taiwan. Taipei was published earlier this year and represents, by all accounts, a great leap forward for Lin. Not simply a catalogue of the various existential crises of Brooklyn's hipster class, Taipei is Lin at his peak. Earlier this year in an interview with Lin on KCRW's Bookworm, Michael Silverblatt called Taipei, "The most moving depiction of the way we live now," describing the book as "unbearably moving". And if that doesn't inspire you to head out to King's Cross on a late-winter evening, then I'm not sure we're going to be friends.

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