Writers Write

Stephen Elliott writes e-mail. That's basically all he does. The e-mails go out to however many people under the banner of the Daily Rumpus, and you should sign up right now and read them. Can you think of another writer of his stature ("mildly famous," according to Publishers Weekly's blog), who just writes e-mails? That's one reason you should read his e-mails. Many writers have Twitter accounts (Elliott has one), and most are boring (Elliott's is boring). Instead, he's become a must-read pioneer in an old, awful format — the e-mail newsletter — by writing about whatever he wants to: literature, sex, painting his floor, rock climbing, youth, hustling, Dolores Park, being a child forever, publishing. For a while, he's been pumping us up with the Rumpus' sex columnist, Sugar, because she writes like she's saving lives; Jonathan Franzen, because Elliott got an advance copy of Freedom; and the Rumpus Book Club, because of Tao Lin. Lin is a fiction writer who is reinventing literature in his own, highly plugged-in way, but with books. He has legions of fans and imitators, a dearth of coverage in The New York Times (Elliott likes to point this out in his e-mails), and, frankly, not many fans among members of the online Rumpus Book Club. One member, John Francisconi, started off his Rumpus essay with, "I didn’t enjoy reading [Lin's] Richard Yates all that much." Hey, Francisconi, tell us what you really think! Tonight, book club members and guests hash out the controversial author in the real world at the Rumpus Book Club In-Person Discussion: Tao Lin's Richard Yates, in advance of Lin's appearance at the bookstore Oct. 6.
Wed., Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2010

 
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