By Keith Gessen
A unique of affection, disappointment, wasted formative years, 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 e-book reviewer for guides together with the hot Yorker and the recent York instances, Gessen makes his debut with this severely acclaimed novel, a captivating but scathing portrait of younger maturity on the commencing of the twenty-first century. the radical 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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Mark and Sasha went to teach-ins, lectures, protests in Union Square. They attended free readings, second-run movies, eight-dollar plays. The readings were miserable, the plays were horrible, the lectures were nearly empty. Some of the movies were good. Their friends came to visit, from Manhattan, from Brooklyn, from farther away. Val’s real name was Vassily and he lived in Inwood; Nick wanted to be an art critic but worked for the moment at a bank, with expensive art on its walls. Tom was a fiery radical of the far left: in college he’d read Hegel’s Phenomenology; in New York he mostly read the political writings of Lomaski.
The silhouettes of the daughters of our professors, and of hedge-fund presidents, junk-bond kings, and Hollywood impresarios, flickered through our hallways, whispered good-bye in the morning, walked quietly out. They were the sorts of women that, if you had a rule against sleepovers, for them you’d make an exception. And then one day—it was a cold lazy Sunday in what was now our junior year, we had all, even me, gone out the night before and spent the day lying half ruined and miserable on the couch, watching football—Ferdinand came home with Lauren, whose father was Vice President of the United States.
He hated that. When they were getting along she used a pet name; when they fought, it was Sem. ” “I know,” he admitted. ” His parents had been radical secularists, followers of Lomaski, who’d neglected his religious and spiritual training. When Sam finally got around to Hebrew without them, the letters looked like Tetris pieces. They piled against one another as if asking for someone to collect them into the least possible space, to fit their protrusions into their cavities. He was happy to do this, of course, but it was not reading.
All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen