Richard Yates

David Haglund writes:

The title of Tao Lin’s sixth book and second novel is an act of mild provocation. Richard Yates belongs to a biography, not a novel – certainly not one in which Yates himself doesn’t appear. One character in the book steals a copy of The Easter Parade; another reads Disturbing the Peace; a third tells an anecdote about a reading Yates once gave. That’s pretty much it as far as Yates is concerned. Lin’s previous novel was called Eeeee Eee Eeee, after the sound made by dolphins. The dolphins in Eeeee Eee Eeee also speak English, live underground and club the actor Elijah Wood to death. But given the difficulty that the book’s characters (even the human ones) have in communicating with each other, a non-verbal sound – a squeal that might convey delight or anguish or simply ‘I’m here’ – is a fitting title.

(LRB 21 October 2010)

Other Titles of Interest