Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dear Karen Russell, If You Need Someone to Take a Bullet for You…

Karen Russell & Wells Tower Discussing Swamplandia!

Karen Russell signed book

My 5th grade psychotherapist did say I was a manipulative prick

Karen Russell knows how to make a little blogger’s quiet heart squeal with joy.

Not only did she and Wells Tower engage in some hot back and forth over writing, novels, Florida, Southern Gothic, and Columbia University; not only did I get top-notch insults from two of the New Yorker Magazine’s “30 Under 40” stud authors; not only did I eat crackers and cheese, with grapes and a bit of wine; not only were those vittles provided gratis by the NYPL and its Young Lions program; not only did I get yelled at only once for breaking some invisible line separating the cheese servers’ side of the buffet from the cheese eaters’ side of the buffet, mostly because my love of Brie demanded I get around the old lady taking her sweet time with a couple strawberry slices; not only did all of this go abnormally, amazingly well, but Russell sent me spinning by saying:

  • I was wondering if/when (ed: can’t remember which) you would come for my insult.
  • The people at Powell’s (awesome bookstore in Portland, OR) told me to watch out for you.

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Tao Lin Confuses the Fuck Out of Me | B&N Tribeca

Tao Lin Reading – Richard Yates

Tao Lin signed book

Tao Lin, darling of the sweatpants mafia

What the hell is going on when Tao Lin reads at the same type of corporate bookstore from which his “protagonist” steals books in his new novel, Richard Yates? Why does Lin’s muddled, muffled, painfully awkward high school sophomore-on-Xanax voice sometimes feel like an act, and Yates is his alibi? How is it that none of this matters, that Richard Yates might be an important comment on modern life, or it might be a hybrid cash-in novel based on a copy/paste transcript of a melodramatic Gmail relationship?

I’m stumped. There seems to be something going on here, but I’m not intelligent enough to suss it out. Three weeks I’ve struggled with this constipated idea and now I need to shit it out.

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