All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen

By Keith Gessen

A unique of affection, disappointment, wasted adolescence, 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 courses together with the hot Yorker and the hot 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 radical charts the lives of Sam, Mark, and Keith as they overthink their university years, underthink their love lives, and fight to discover a semblance of adulthood, accountability, or even literary popularity.

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Example text

It was 1998, the impeachment had passed but not without the special prosecutor’s special little book, and the President for the next two years was as good as a lame duck, I thought. It was up to Lauren’s father now—to begin the equitable redistribution of the new wealth, to fight for labor protection for the subjects of globalization, and, also, to save the earth. The administration had conceded a great deal to the Right, but I knew that Lauren’s father would take it all back, if only he knew how many of us there were, there are, who were with him; if only, as I had sometimes felt with Lauren, he could convincingly be reassured.

But sometimes you are young, and strong, and you believe that because of this you have a right to the things that others have—because look at the mess they’ve made, and look at how tired they are. The woman said, “You can have anything you want,” and on the long drive back to Baltimore I wondered what she meant. The night of the election Jillian and I stayed home and watched the results come in, and ate fancy pizza, and blogged away. ” I kissed her. When they called the election back, we sat there together in disbelief.

I had a paper to write. That semester I was working on Lincoln, and something of his tragedy had entered my bones, so that if I was noble I was noble like Lincoln, and if I was solemn I was solemn like Lincoln. I was open to influence then, to any influence. I was ready to rearrange myself, if that’s what it took. Because the plans that I’d had for myself had faltered, somewhere, and I could not tell why. Does he who fights douchebags become, inevitably, something of a douchebag? I don’t know. Maybe.

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