Five Things To Expect From Tao Lin’s Australian Tour

Not all of them are drug-related.

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Tao Lin is the loose cannon of American letters. The author of three novels – Richard YatesEeeee Eee Eeee and Taipei – as well as numerous poetry and short story collections, he’s coming to Australia later this month; firstly to Brisbane on August 24 for the Queensland Poetry Festival, then to Sydney on August 28, brought to you by NYWF, and finally to Melbourne, where he’s appearing on a few panels for the writers festival.

To get you prepped for his impending tour, here’s your Tao Lin primer.

He Writes All The Time

In addition to his three novels, Lin is also the author of several poetry collections – you are a little bit happier than i am and cognitive-behavioral therapy – and a short story collection, Bed. He has written for blogs including Vice and Gawker – who called him “maybe perhaps the single most irritating person we’ve ever had to deal with” before they relented and let him write for them.

He runs his own small literary press, and also wrote a short novel called Shoplifting From American Apparel, which is a pretty great title all things considered.

He Doesn’t Consider Any Interview Topic Off-Limits

Vice interviewer once asked Lin to tell her something that he’d never told anyone before. He told her that, between the ages of five and ten, he would only masturbate to Nintendo Power magazine.

“It’s just about Nintendo games,” he said. “A lot of times I’d masturbate to, like, the muscular guys in there.”

Tao Lin Contra - Copy

You’ll probably never look at Contra in the same way again, right?

Critics Either Love Or Hate Him 

There’s very little middle ground when it comes to Tao Lin. Lydia Kiesling of The Millions said she felt “lobotomized” after reading his newest novel Taipei, while Charles Bock of The New York Times said that he wanted to commit suicide right alongside the characters in Richard Yates. Others consider him to be a genius, like Emily Witt of The Daily Beast, who praised Taipei for its use of contemporary language, and Lin’s prose for inspiring the “existential wonder that all good novelists provoke.”

He Likes To Party

Tao Lin’s Twitter feed is a near-endless stream of philosophical musings and pharmacological delights.

The two below came from a recent book tour.

Tao Lin Ketamine - Copy Tao Lin Weed - Copy

Sometimes it all gets a bit too much, though.

 Tao Lin Internet - Copy

He Likes Watermelon

In a recent chat with Interview magazine, Lin confirmed that he likes watermelon – a lot. “Maybe my favorite fruit,” he said. “If you blend it with almost any kind of leafy greens the resulting green smoothie still tastes almost like it’s onlywatermelon.”

Watermelon: it’s a tasty treat. Also, pomegranate.




Queensland Poetry Festival: Alchemy & Praise

Saturday August 24, 2.45pm @ Theatre Space, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

With: TT.O, Aidan Coleman, Cindy Keong — free!


National Young Writers’ Festival presents Tao Lin

Wednesday August 28, 7pm @ Alaska Projects

With: Wilfred Brandt — tickets here


The Morning Read

Friday August 30, 10am @ Festival Hub, Beer DeLuxe

With: Fiona Capp, Jane Rawson, Thuy On, Zane Lovitt — tickets here

Generation Now

Saturday August 31, 1pm @ ACMI Studio 1

With: Bethanie Blanchard, Emmett Stinson, Tao Lin — sold out

Global Voices

Sunday September 1, 1pm @ ACMI Studio 1

With: Ali Alizadeh, Laura Jean McKay, Melissa Cranenburgh  — tickets here, selling fast

Feature image by Bryn Desmond-Jones