Lipsky at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2015
July 20, 1965 |
New York City
|Occupation||Novelist, journalist, short story writer|
|Notable works||Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
Absolutely American (2003)
The Art Fair (1996)
David Lipsky (born July 20, 1965) is an American author. His works have been New York Times bestsellers, have been New York Times Notable Books, and have been included in The Best American Magazine Writing and The Best American Short Stories collections.
Background and education
David Lipsky was born in New York City, and is the son of the painter Pat Lipsky. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1983. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, studying with the writer John Hawkes. He received his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with the novelist John Barth. Lipsky currently teaches creative writing at the M.F.A. program at New York University.
As an undergraduate, Lipsky published his story "Three Thousand Dollars" in The New Yorker magazine; it was selected by Raymond Carver as one of the Best American Short Stories of 1986. Carver was surprised by the author's youth, noting in his introduction,
I confess to not having read David Lipsky before this. Have I been asleep and missed some stories of his, or maybe even a novel or two? I don't know. I do know I intend to pay attention from now on.
Three Thousand Dollars and The Art Fair
As a graduate student, Lipsky wrote the stories that would become his first book, Three Thousand Dollars (1989). The novelist John Gregory Brown explained, "It was kind of apparent that Lipsky might have the brightest future of anyone [here]." The book was well-received upon publication, with the trade publication Booklist summarizing, "Critics loved Lipsky's short story collection"; the author was seen to possess "unlimited depth and range of vision," and the stories were compared to the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Los Angeles Times, while noting the book's "astonishing insights into the New York art world," concluded, "Lipsky has given his contemporaries a general autobiography, one that will fit the majority with only minor adjustments."
His novel The Art Fair (1996), a bildungsroman composed of a number of autobiographical elements, tells the story of Richard and Joan Freely—a New York artist and her precocious son. The novel won rave reviews and was named a Time Best Book of the Year. The work earned Lipsky comparisons to writers Michael Chabon and Harold Brodkey. The New York Times called the novel "riveting," The New Yorker described it "a darkly comic love story," People noted, "Lipsky's portrayal of the art world is unblinking, his portrayal of the ties between parent and child deeply affecting"; the critic Francine Prose called the book's "Darwinian" milieu a "testament to Lipsky's skill" and James Atlas wrote "the novel perfectly captures artists and dealers, the tiny gestures of cruelty that confirm or withhold status." The trade publication Library Journal summarized, "The praise has poured as thick as impasto."
Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself and Absolutely American
Lipsky's non-fiction book Absolutely American (2003) was written after the author spent four years living at West Point. The book's genesis was a piece Lipsky wrote for Rolling Stone—the longest article published in that magazine since Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. As Newsweek noted, composition of the book required "14,000 pages of interview transcripts, 60 notebooks and four pairs of boots"; the magazine called the book "addictive," and Lev Grossman in Time wrote that it was "fascinating, funny, and tremendously well-written. Take a good look: this is the face America turns to most of the world, and until now it's one that most of us have never seen." In the New York Times Book Review, David Brooks called the book "wonderfully told," praising it as both "a superb description of modern military culture, and one of the most gripping accounts of university life I have read." The work was a New York Times best-seller and a Time magazine Best Book of the Year. Lipsky sold the motion picture and television rights to the story to Disney.
In April 2010, Lipsky published Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, about a five-day road trip with the writer David Foster Wallace. In Time Magazine, Lev Grossman wrote, "The transcript of their brilliant conversations reads like a two-man Tom Stoppard play or a four-handed duet scored for typewriter." The Atlantic Monthly called the work, "far-reaching, insightful, very funny, profound, surprising, and awfully human"; at National Public Radio, Michael Schaub described the book as "a startlingly sad yet deeply funny postscript to the career of one of the most interesting American writers of all time." Newsweek noted, "For readers unfamiliar with the sometimes intimidating Wallace oeuvre, Lipsky has provided a conversational entry point into the writer's thought process. It's odd to think that a book about Wallace could serve both the newbies and the hard-cores, but here it is." Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, described the book as "rollicking" and "compellingly real," the Wall Street Journal as "lovely," and Laura Miller in Salon called it "exhilarating." The book was a New York Times best-seller and an NPR Best Book of the Year. A film adaptation of the book, entitled The End of the Tour, was filmed for a July 2015 release.
Lipsky's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Details, This American Life, All Things Considered. He received a GLAAD Media Award for journalism in 1999. In 2009, he received the National Magazine Award.
Awards and honors
- 2010 "Best Books of the Year," NPR
- 2009 National Magazine Award
- 2009 The Best American Magazine Writing
- 2005 Lambert Fellowship
- 2003 "Best Books of the Year," Time Magazine
- 2003 "Best Books of the Year," Amazon
- 2003 "Best Books of the Year," Providence Journal-Bulletin
- 2003 "Best Books of the Year," San Jose Mercury News
- 2003 "Best Books of the Year," New York Daily News
- 2003 "Eleven Most Remarkable Things in Culture This Month," Esquire Magazine
- 2003 "Times Notable Book," The New York Times
- 1999 GLAAD Media Award
- 1988 Henfield/Transatlantic Review Award
- 1986 MacDowell Fellow
- 1986 The Best American Short Stories
- The Parrot and the Igloo (2016) 
- Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace (2010)
- Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point (2003)
- The Art Fair (1996)
- Three Thousand Dollars (1986)
- The Best American Magazine Writing (2009)
- The Best American Short Stories (1986)
- Brooks, David (July 13, 2003). "Huah!". The New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- Atlas, James, "The Art Fair", Vogue, June 1996.
- Gale Reference Team, "David Lipsky," Contemporary Authors (Biography), Chicago: Thompson Gale, 2006.
- Klinghoffer, David, "Three Thousand Dollars," National Review, September 29, 1989.
- Carver, Raymond, The Best American Short Stories of 1986, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. p. xv.
- Duffy, Jim, "Absolutely Unexpected," Johns Hopkins Magazine, November 2003.
- Seaman, Donna, "The Art Fair," Booklist, May 15, 1996.
- Combrey, Richard, "Reading for a Cold Winter's Night," San Francisco Chronicle, December 31, 1989.
- Kendall, Elaine. "Marking the Potholes, Pitfalls for Eighties Youth," Los Angeles Times, December 22, 1989.
- Kirkus, "The Art Fair," Kirkus, April 1, 1996.
- Eckhoff, Sally, "The Art Fair," The New York Times Book Review, June 9, 1996.
- "The Art Fair," The New Yorker, June 24, 1996
- Kaufman, Joanne, "The Art Fair," People, July 29, 1996
- Prose, Francine, "In Art, Reputation Is Everything," Newsday, May 19, 1996
- Library Journal, "The Art Fair," October 1, 1996.
- Gegax, Trent, "Getting The Point," Newsweek," July 7, 2003.
- Grossman, Lev (July 6, 2003). "Long on the Long Gray Line". Time. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- Lacayo, Richard (December 18, 2003). "Richard Lacayo and Lev Grossman, "Absolutely American by David Lipsky"". Time. Retrieved March 29, 2014.(registration required)
- Sauriol, Patrick, "ABC Goes West Point," Variety, August 13, 2003.
- Grossman, Lev, "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself," Time, April 16, 2010.
- Kaiser, Menachem, "The Challenge of Writing About David Foster Wallace," The Atlantic, April 22, 2010.
- Schaub, Michael (May 7, 2010). "A Not-So-Brief Interview With David Foster Wallace". NPR. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- Wallis, Seth Colter, "My Dinners With David," Newsweek, April 22, 2010.
- Publishers Weekly, "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself," April 4, 2010.
- Sam Sacks, "Irony and Its Discontent," The Wall Street Journal," August 29, 2012.
- Miller, Laura (April 4, 2010). "Road Trip With David Foster Wallace". Salon. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "NPR Best Books of 2010". Npr.org. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
- The New York Times, "The Winners," May 1, 2009.
- David Lipsky on Slate's The Moment
- David Lipsky on NPR's On The Media
- David Lipsky Interview in Time
- David Lipsky at Electric Literature
- David Lipsky on The Takeaway about David Foster Wallace, Audio Clips
- Lipsky at American Fiction Notes for Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
- Lipsky on NPR for Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
- Lipsky on The Marketplace of Ideas
- David Lipsky on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show
- Lipsky about David Foster Wallace, for All Things Considered
- David Lipsky on Consider the Lobster, for NPR
- Lipsky at University of North Carolina Summer Reading Program
- David Lipsky Interview on Charlie Rose
- David Lipsky Interview on The Today Show
- David Lipsky Interview on Powells.com
- Lipsky on Honor, Character, Duty and Country, for NPR
- Lipsky on This American Life
- Lipsky on All Things Considered
- Lipsky on NPR's Talk of the Nation
- Lipsky on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show
- Lipsky Interview with Bill Thompson
- David Lipsky Author Page
- Booknotes interview with Lipsky on Absolutely American, August 17, 2003