National Post from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 23, 2010 · 77
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National Post from Toronto, Ontario, Canada · 77

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 23, 2010
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77
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WP19 NATIONAL POST. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2010 national postcom FICTION BESTSELLERS situ 1 The Girl with the ' Dragon Tattoo ByStieg Larsson The Girl Who Played Cross Fire By James Patterson with Fire ByStieg Larsson WEEKEND POST y2 I rm&t sr r kie Mot Turning book promotion into an absurd art form Tao Lin, the provocative author of Shoplifting from American Apparel and Richard Yates, answered Mark Medley's questions in Toronto earlier this week. Some excerpts from their conversation, which appears in full at nationalpost.comtheafterword. Q remember you sold shares of a novel a couple of years back; I'm assuming Richard Yates is that novel? Are your investors antsy? A Yes, it is Richard Yates. In late 2008, six investors paid me $2,000 each to each own 10 of the domestic royalties to Richard Yates. I emailed them their third or fourth "investor update" email a few days ago. They seem optimistic and supportive. I like them. Their first check will arrive to them once I get my first royalty check for Richard Yates (mid-2011, 1 think). 0 What's your philosophy on self-promotion? Is there any-thingyou won't do? A Ideally, I only want to do things that are satisfying and exciting as "art," or as something with no clear concrete function. I feel strong aversion to doing a promotional thing if it is not also satisfying as "art." If an idea feels fun and exciting to me, like selling shares in my next novel (writing the blog post, seeing what happens), I will do it regardless if I think it will work as publicity or not But if it doesn't feel fun or exciting to me, or satisfying, I won't do it, even if it will work as publicity, I think, in the same manner that if there's a certain paragraph in a book Our best-performing all-in-one music system. When we introduced the original Acoustic Wave8 music system, Sound & Vision said it delivered "possibly the best-reproduced sound many people have ever heard." Today, the improved Acoustic Wave1 music system II builds on our more than 40 years of industry-leading innovation to deliver even better sound. This is the best-performing all-in-one music system we've ever made, with sound that rivals large and complicated stereos. There's no stack of equipment. No tangle of wires. Just all-in-one convenience and lifelike sound. Murray Hill of Canada.com reports, "As a standalone system, it's beyond compare." Even better sound than its award-winning predecessor. With recently developed Bose technologies, our engineers were able to make the acclaimed sound even more natural. We believe you'll appreciate the quality t,';uflT( Uwd-jcatiun PatwH iqfts m 'j-ili rufytK mutt be 'Huhim M that I don't like and doesn't excite me I won't include that paragraph in the book, even if including that paragraph would cause the book to sell a lot more copies. 0 How do you deal with the, er, haters? A I feel increasingly less affected by anything abstract that anyone says about my work or me. If someone says something that seems interesting, funny, or notable, in some manner, to me, I link it somewhere on the Internet regardless if it is positive or negative. If a review seems "damning," I refer to it as a "damning review." 0 The same night you're in Toronto, Richard Ford is in town. Miy should people come see you and not him? A I've never seen Richard Ford read. I've heard him interviewed in podcasts before. He seems to have a calm, wise-sounding voice, and I remember liking what he said about things. I have a quiet, "zombie-like," at-times nervous monotone and say mostly concrete things using short sentences. If you dislike perceiving awkward behaviour, confused or neutral facial expressions, or uncertainty you maybe would feel happier at Richard Ford's reading. Weekend Post even at volume levels approaching that of a live performance. Use it where you like. This small system fits almost anywhere. You can move it from room to room, or take it outside. It has what you need to enjoy your music, including a built-in CD player and digital FMAM tuner. - ''Jj You also can easily connect additional sources like your MP3 Shown in Graphite Grey with optional S-CD Changer. isflfl t'tia wwling The AlousIk Wj mow rfstwnlldwmfimtwwjttsfiwiwl at Bote f npwfmrt -n ttn U S ind'.Jttwcountcm ftstSCO lull reLix) UMwl m Itnut lu puHtM mode fru'i Mttw ui pinning utlwmw) iMwt tittu vnO IGl'0 1 13U10 Hist tin lelwi lo JOiMi Revolutionary goad Tao Lin irks the literary establishment, and his readers BOOK REVIEW Richard Yates By Tao Lin Melville House 171 pp; $17.95 By Lyndsie Bourgon For a short novel, Tao Lin's Richard Yates has an extensive index chronicling every seemingly unimportant reference, from facial expressions (confident, neutral, worried) to foods eaten (flaxseed, Subway, ice cream). It's a bit of a gimmick and so is Lin. Minimalism is his style. He uses few adjectives, the dialogue is stiff. He doesn't use question marks. These stylistic tics define Lin more than his writing. With an aggressive Internet presence, he is a savvy online marketer. When his publisher, Brooklyn-based Mel player or TV. tifosuP I twite!?- " " " w ' jiMJjiir . ville House, provided a meagre $1,000 advance for Richard Yates, Lin sold shares of his unwritten book to sue investors. The New York-based media blog Gawker has called Lin "perhaps the single most irritating person we've had to deal with," thanks to his persistent email spamming and online stunts. Just last month, Lin set out to "monetize" his Twitter account by sending out 10 tweets, written in all-caps, that linked to the online lesbian magazine Autostraddle. Of course, the bare bones of his new book is vintage Lin naming your novel after a much more successful novelist is an attention grabber. I emailed Lin to ask him about the title. Here's his response: "The title Richard Yates is a low-level non-sequitur, similar to how if you type an email and then don't know what to type in the 'subject line' 1 J- -.i-5 . Hear it yourself risk free for 30 days. Use our 30-day, risk-free trial to try it in your home. If you order now, you'll receive free courier shipping. You'll also receive the optional 5-CD Changer free, a $349 value. The changer lets you enjoy your music for hours without stopping to change CDs. And a slim, credit card-style remote lets you conveniently control both the Acoustic Wave music system II and the changer. Compare the performance with large, multi-component stereos costing much more. And discover why Bose is the most respected name in sound. To 1-800-351-2073, ext. www.Bose.caAWMS Chnow ind trie snipping offers not to be inHxned with nttw trftrjts of intf "Uy. injuum putJoci puHhsie Ml Jtm iHit iidude tBlum srHpumy of it you might type a near-random word or phrase, based vaguely on something within the email, feeling that after the other person has read your email they'll maybe understand how you felt toward the email, and the contents of the email, in terms of 'having to title it" Plus, the characters in Richard Yates are fans of Richard Yates. The follow-up to his cult-hit novella, Shoplifting from American Apparel, Richard Yates centres on two young lovers who go by the names Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment. Both are referred to by their full names throughout the book. And, no, they're not the famous kid stars you're thinking of. Dakota Fanning is 16 and Haley Joel Osment is 22, and the book is about love and age and sex. The blurb on the back cover asks: "What constitutes illicit sex for a generation with no rules?" order or learn more: Hetar cm mrl thrru mh meawh s pplit tn prpnoui pwrwww end iu6)(et to change witWot nntict H the Acouitu Wave wt system II is returned. bwivtry n sulipti lu product awiwWtty Uuutes lapmieu iiti peimiswuii bound & Visum J,'t6 But as an exploration of destructive love, Haley Joel Osment voices the true theme when he asks: "Now what" Much of the narrative and dialogue is between the two and their plans for what comes next: when they'll meet, how they'll meet, what they'll do when they're together. And once they're together, the "now what" becomes an effort to save their relationship from its certain demise. Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment communicate mainly via Gmail chat, and their separation between New York City and New Jersey is the overarching and unsolv-able problem in the relationship. But in true Lin style, the stress of a long-distance relationship is reduced to a throw-away sentence: "Haley Joel Osment said, 'Soon we won't talk anymore. Life is terrible.' " But as the book unfolds, it's easy to regard the painfully blunt discussion as an astute rendering of young love. The conversations make no sense and are filled with small inside jokes; they'll talk about anything from eating disorders to moving in together in quick missives that don't sound real. But in a world of relationships and Gmail chat, that is authentic. Lin is the ultimate hipster, and you'll hate and love him for it. His work is so minimalist and so literal, it can make for uncomfortable reading. You want to stop reading it, but you also want to like it, you want to be part of the club that understands it. Maybe you want him to write a sentence that includes you just like he did for Richard Yates. Weekend Post BK701

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