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. referred to as an award-winning translator of Russian and a e-book reviewer for guides together with the recent Yorker and the recent York occasions, Gessen makes his debut with this severely acclaimed novel, a captivating but scathing portrait of younger maturity on the beginning 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 popularity.

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Sample text

You know? ” “We could trade,” she decided. She leaned over toward me in such a way that I could see down her shirt, but what struck me then was just her nearness, her girliness. ” I shrugged. Jesus, where to begin? “I just—” And here something happened to me that had happened to me once or twice before, always with women: a moment of unpremeditated screaming honesty, of saying out loud what had remained in my mind only a kind of vagueness, a foreboding, not even a thought. “I just don’t understand what people want from me,” I said.

Boats? Ice cream? There was right action and wrong action. There was Kierkegaard. There was fun, and then there were those ten minutes before the Grille closed, the music turned off, the lights coming up to reveal the beer spilled on the floor, the plastic cups lying there, and people’s coats had fallen off the little coat ledge in the corner, and you’d be going home alone. How was I going to explain all this to anyone? To Lauren, for example, poor privileged Lauren for whom no amount of grooming and training (and we were all getting it, in our way, the grooming and the training) would turn her into the person she actually wanted to be?

Did she mean sex? Boats? Ice cream? There was right action and wrong action. There was Kierkegaard. There was fun, and then there were those ten minutes before the Grille closed, the music turned off, the lights coming up to reveal the beer spilled on the floor, the plastic cups lying there, and people’s coats had fallen off the little coat ledge in the corner, and you’d be going home alone. How was I going to explain all this to anyone? To Lauren, for example, poor privileged Lauren for whom no amount of grooming and training (and we were all getting it, in our way, the grooming and the training) would turn her into the person she actually wanted to be?

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