All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen

By Keith Gessen

A singular of affection, disappointment, wasted early life, and literary and highbrow ambition-"a wincingly humorous debut" (Vogue) Keith Gessen is a courageous and trenchant new literary voice. often called an award-winning translator of Russian and a booklet reviewer for guides together with the recent Yorker and the recent York instances, Gessen makes his debut with this seriously acclaimed novel, a captivating but scathing portrait of younger maturity on the starting of the twenty-first century. the unconventional charts the lives of Sam, Mark, and Keith as they overthink their collage years, underthink their love lives, and fight to discover a semblance of adulthood, accountability, or even literary reputation.

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In the case of Mark, for example, it was unclear. Occasionally he and Sasha had terrible fights. She was so quiet; she was so small. One time they met up in the city to watch a free movie in Bryant Park. Mark was already at the library on 42nd Street, and Sasha was at home, so she was to bring some food. But she was in a hurry and forgot. Trying to hide his annoyance, Mark led them around midtown looking for a place to eat. Finally they walked into a deli. The salad bar was closed. The sandwiches cost six-fifty, seven dollars.

Endless. So serious. ” Oh. Ah. That was the Arielle touch, her temptation. Her hair was back in a ponytail, and she wore faded blue jeans and a long wool sweater, the official uniform of the mildly insane. Even in her breakdown she was perfectly conventional, a lifetime of television compressed into a few perfect gestures, and nothing could have been more devastating for a man whose life was as strange and unlikely as Sam’s, who had begun so badly to lose his way among the many desires he was supposed to desire.

And then, about a month after the e-mail, things came to a head in Leverett J-12. I had been buried in the library, reading all of Lincoln’s little notes and letters, all sixteen volumes, and finishing my great Lincoln paper, though admittedly much of my time was spent imagining what it would be like already to be the author of a great Lincoln paper. Would I grant interviews? But now things were getting tense, the deadline was nine in the morning, and I had to finish the Lincoln, for no one else would.

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