True, his characters are young people living in Brooklyn. And he writes about the Internet. But we should stop calling Tao Lin the voice of his generation. Taipei, his new novel, has less to do with his generation than with the literary tradition of Knut Hamsun, Ernest Hemingway, and Robert Musil.
Mr. Lin was first thought to be “generational” because he was very young and had a big online following. But even in 2005 Mr. Lin cited throwback influences like Ann Beattie, Frederick Barthelme, and Joy Williams—somewhat unfashionable choices, indicating Mr. Lin’s highly individual taste for understatement, quirkiness, and what has been called K-Mart realism. Read More