1. Tao Lin & Adam Wilson (the founding editor of The Faster Times), with neutral facial expressions. 2. Stephanie & David, who ‘came’ to the ‘reading.’

“Where is Tao, he is never late.”

“I don’t know. Maybe the subway is fucked.”

“Yes. You remember that party at Justin Taylor’s house?”

“Yes. What have you been doing since the album?”

“I don’t know. It is sort of weird. I was sort of not thinking about things, and now I am. Like life. It is sort of horrible. And I’ve been working. Sort of. Like, life. It’s sort of horrifying.”

“Ha ha. Yeah. What about your manuscript?”

“Oh. I’m going to shred that thing. Shred it.”

“Shred it. Make a video of that and shred it.” **

It sounds like dialogue from a Tao Lin book, but it’s not. This is actually the kind of thing you will hear while waiting for Lin, who was uncharacteristically (apparently) late last night, to show up to his reading. [We cribbed 'overhearing' as a method from the selection of Richard Yates read by Lin, which discusses overhearing & recording 'party girls' in NYCs bars for material]

Other things you can expect at a Tao Lin reading:

  • A young, hip crowd
  • For the author to speak in:
  • quiet monotone
  • brief sentences
  • a “quirky” way that states the obvious and is also succinct
  • To hear strange questions, such as:

Do you own a gun? (No.)

What did you eat today? (a smoothie, pineapple, mango, coffee, coconut water)

What would you do if Dakota Fanning read your book and cried? (I don’t know, why would she cry?)

  • To learn new slang terms, like “Party Girl” and “Cheese Beast”


1. Christian Lorentzen (who wrote the definitive Tao Lin ‘profile’ for The Observer) & Writer James Yeh (founding editor of Gigantic magazine) being “party girls.” 2. Writer Chloé Cooper Jones, Co-editor of Gigantic magazine Lincoln Michel, and musician Rion Harmon, taking a break from meaningful conversation.

**This dialogue was from an eavesdropped conversation that was transcribed by hand, so therefore may not be 100% accurate.

–Julia Jackson is working on her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College, and is a regular contributor for Electric Dish.

The Outlet’s Editor Anna Prushinskaya was an accomplice for this piece.

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