Keith Gessen, the founding editor of the literary journal, n+1, posted the prologue from his first novel, All The Sad Young Literary Men, on the n+1 website. The novel covers three intertwined stories of three young writers, Mark, Sam and Keith, who seem to wallow in a post-graduate malaise and, thus far, unable to launch their literary careers. Here’s a tidbit from the prologue titled, “(Mark and Sasha)”:
“Mark had always been cheap, but in college he’d become a communist. Or anyway a social-democrat. He went to Russia to research a project and met a girl. She had enormous green eyes and held her back straight and walked like a ballerina, the heel just in front of the toe, and she spoke English with such a proper, old world reserve that Mark wanted to help, to put his arms around her, to tell her it was OK.”
The themes used to describe this book remind me of Noah Baumbach’s 1995 film, “Kicking and Screaming,” which also dealt with post-graduate, late-twenties malaise. This is enough to put this book on my reading list.