Richard Yates is a startling change of direction for Lin: his trademark minimalism takes on a much darker edge as he narrates the story of a young man dealing with the consequences of an affair with an underage girl. But buried within Lin’s work is a more troubling question—what exactly constitutes illicit sex for a generation with no rules? Tao Lin’s second novel tracks the relationship between writer Haley Joel Osment, a New Yorker in his early twenties, and Dakota Fanning, his 16-year-old lover. Moving between Fanning’s suburban home and Osment’s Wall Street apartment, the couple increasingly shuns the outside world as they work to navigate the moral ambiguity of their love. But as they grow more obsessive and become more intimately involved, Fanning reveals her increasingly self-destructive personality. Osment’s own guilt and anger entrap him as they find the relationship—and their lives—hurtling out of control.
“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