Richard Yates (novel)
First edition cover
|Cover artist||Michael Northrup|
|7 September 2010|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning (unrelated to their child star namesakes) are friends who initially met over the internet and converse with each other regularly through Gmail chat. Haley is a 22-year-old author in Manhattan, and Dakota is a 16-year-old high school student in a nearby suburb in New Jersey.
Prior to writing Richard Yates, Lin sold 10 percent shares of its royalties at US$2000 each. Expressing a desire to focus solely on the book in lieu of maintaining an income for living expenses, Lin said, “I actually will work better on my second novel, the way the novel is right now, if I have no obligations or responsibilities at all.” According to Lin, a conventional book deal with a publisher would have only provided him with a month's worth for living costs, whereas through private investments he had thought he could make enough money through to live off of for three or four months. Six days after announcing his plan, Lin had sold 60 percent of the royalties in shares, earning a total of $12000.
Richard Yates, like Lin's previous work, was met with a polarized critical reception. Many reviewers criticized Lin's idiosyncratic writing style, which is plain and minimally descriptive. One critic wrote that his prose "may appeal to a bored and banalized readership, but the writing is anything but appealing." Other reviews were more forgiving; in Charles Bock's mostly negative review for The New York Times, Bock admitted that Lin could be "genuinely funny", and that "[w]hen Haley Joel and Dakota find solace in each other through small, intimate gestures, or in descriptions of Dakota’s defeated parents, Lin’s flat style resonates." The Boston Globe's review described Lin's writing as having "the effect of putting a red butterfly behind glass: detached but brighter."
- Moore, Matthew (8 August 2008). "Penniless author sells shares in next novel". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Flood, Alison (6 August 2008). "Taking stock of Tao Lin". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 October 2010. Tao Lin is abusive, hateful and took advantage of a 16 year old (while he was 22) then wrote a book about it. And people, for some reason, think he is brilliant. He isn't.
- Cohen, Joshua. "Camera Obscura". Bookforum.com. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Bock, Charles (24 September 2010). "Young Love". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Dreilinger, Danielle. "Well-known names on characters we want to know better". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
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