Tao Lin: Leave Society
In 2014, a novelist named Li leaves Manhattan to visit his parents in Taipei for ten weeks. He doesn’t know it yet, but his life will begin to deepen and complexify on this trip. As he flies between these two worlds—year by year, over four years—he will flit in and out of optimism, despair, loneliness, sanity, bouts of chronic pain, and drafts of a new book. He will incite and temper arguments, uncover secrets about nature and history, and try to understand how to live a meaningful life as an artist and a son. But how to fit these pieces of his life together? Where to begin? Or should he leave society altogether?
In his most recent work, Tao Lin delivers an engrossing and hopeful novel about life, fiction, and where the two blur together that builds toward a stunning, if unexpected, romance. Exploring everyday events and scenes—waiting rooms, dog walks, family meals—while investigatively venturing to the edges of society, where culture dissolves into mystery, Lin spins the ordinary into something monumental, and shows what it is to write a novel in real time. Illuminating and deeply felt, ‘Leave Society’ is a masterly story about life and art at the end of history.