One of the most polarizing figures in recent literature has been Tao Lin: Pioneer and poster kid for the Alternative Literature movement, consumer of only raw fruits and vegetables, casual adderall/MDMA/LSD/heroin user, instigator of “K-mart realism.”
Brett Easton Ellis has called him the “most interesting prose stylist of our generation.”
He also called him boring.
What Lin does is he writes, very realistically, often autobiographically, about the depersonalization of our modern society via technology, drugs, consumerism, etc.
What sets him apart is he’s not criticizing this depersonalization; he’s reveling in it. He’s writing about how its just another time period we just happen to be a part of, and he’s making the best of it. While other doomsday sayers are saying the “selfie generation” is completely ruining our culture, Lin is making a bold statement about how that just might be okay.
Still, this gets him a lot of hate, saying he’s glorifying the wrong things, especially drug use.
So, is he a junkie hack that will soon be forgotten? Or is he really one of the most interesting prose stylists around today? You be the judge.
Here’s a link to an article where a vulture writer stays up all night with him on Adderall. It’s an interesting read. Be sure to check out the comment section, where there’s a lot of hate, and a lot of Lin responding to said hate.