The cover for Tao Lin’s forthcoming third novel, Taipei, to be published by Vintage, has been released. I’m a big fan of it. The version online is a shiny gif. It will be interesting to see what the cover looks like on a physical copy.
Matthew Donahoo read an advance copy of the book and reported about it for Vice, but reportedly Lin has spent many hours revising even after the galley was released. The novel is said to be highly autobiographical and covers trips to Taipei, Taiwan, a Vegas wedding, New York literary parties, and lots of drug-taking. Lin also recently did a very entertaining interview about the book with Giancarlo DiTrapano of New York Tyrant and said of it:
The thing with this book is it’s called Taipei. It has my parents in it, or like there’s parents in it that are based on my parents, and like a third of it is set in Taiwan, which will force certain reviewers to view it as important, in terms of like how novels about the holocaust or 9/11 are viewed as important [...] If it was the same book but titled MacBook I’m sure like 90% of the reviews would be completely different.
Seems perceptive. A segment of the public is easily swayed by stock assumptions about what is important versus indulgent in art. For those people, Lin’s work will always have to overcome his controversial reputation as a “hipster author” who writes about contemporary young people in autobiographical works (which is interpreted by ignorant, small-minded people as inherently indulgent/narcissistic).