Event Description:Tao Lin will be presenting on "Kmart realism"-a term, sometimes called "minimalism" or "dirty realism," used most notably (1) by Tom Wolfe (in his 1989 essay "Stalking The Billion-Footed Beast") and (2) Madison Smartt Bell (in his 1986 essay "Less is Less") to derogatorily group together the following, among other, writers: Frederick Barthelme, Ann Beattie, Joy Williams, Raymond Carver, Bobbie Ann Mason. The presentation will include a small packet of information, including samples of some of these writers' work; charts showing how they, and their teachers, are (or are not) connected; essays by John Barth & Frederick Barthelme that serve as a kind of passive defense against the aforementioned attacks by Wolfe, Bell; and a concrete, specific focus on 6 of the targeted writers, with intent to show how they are each unique and different than one another, hopefully to provide insight on why the term (the generalization, categorization) "Kmart realism" (and maybe most or all generalizations, categorizations) is a disservice, if used 100% earnestly, to everyone involved.
Tao Lin is the author of three novels, Taipei (Vintage, 2013), Richard Yates (Melville House, 2010), Eeeee Eee Eeee (Melville House, 2007); a novella, Shoplifting from American Apparel (Melville House, 2009), a story-collection, Bed (Melville House, 2007); two poetry-collections. His books have been translated to ten languages. Stories & essays have been published by New York Observer, The Stranger, Gawker, Vice, Flaunt, Mississippi Review, NOON, Fourteen Hills, Other Voices, Cincinnati Review, Poetry Foundation, Thought Catalog; anthologized in Mississippi Review 30 Year Anthology. Winner of Action Books’ December Prize for a first book of poetry (2006); New York University’s undergraduate creative writing prize, the Seth Barkis Award (2005); One Story’s Annual Short Story Contest (2004). Founder/editor of Muumuu House, a publishing company. He is currently teaching a graduate writing class at Sarah Lawrence College.