Richard Yates (novel)

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Richard Yates
Richard Yates (book cover).jpg
First edition cover
Author Tao Lin
Cover artist Michael Northrup
Country United States
Language English
Genre Autobiographical
Publisher Melville House
Publication date
7 September 2010
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 256
ISBN 1-935554-15-8
LC Class PS3612.I517R53

Richard Yates is an autobiographical novel by Tao Lin, published in 2010.


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.


Before writing Richard Yates, Lin sold 10 percent shares of its royalties for $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 provided him with only a month's worth of living costs, whereas through private investments he thought he could make enough money to live on for three or four months.[1] Six days after announcing his plan, Lin had sold 60 percent of the royalties in shares, for a total of $12000.[2]


Richard Yates, like Lin's previous work, met polarized criticism. Many reviewers criticized Lin's idiosyncratic plain and minimally descriptive style. One wrote that his prose "may appeal to a bored and banalized readership, but the writing is anything but appealing."[3] Others were more forgiving; Charles Bock's mostly negative review for The New York Times allowed 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."[4] The Boston Globe's review described Lin's writing as having "the effect of putting a red butterfly behind glass: detached but brighter."[5]

Foreign editions[edit]

A French edition was published by Au Diable Vauvert[6] and an Italian edition is forthcoming from Saggiatore.[7]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Moore, Matthew (8 August 2008). "Penniless author sells shares in next novel". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Flood, Alison (6 August 2008). "Taking stock of Tao Lin". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Cohen, Joshua. "Camera Obscura". Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Bock, Charles (24 September 2010). "Young Love". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Dreilinger, Danielle. "Well-known names on characters we want to know better". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  6. ^
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