There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
All the sad, young, literary men of Keith Gessen’s All the Sad Young Literary Men seem familiar. They are Gessen’s friends, they are Don DeLillo 40 years removed, they may all be parts of Gessen himself—the buzzy co-founder of n+1, the equally buzzy, very New York-y, anti-McSweeney’s literary project. Gessen’s debut novel maps the lives of Keith, Mark, and Sam as they leave the twilight of their youth (college) and burst forth into the bright daylight of their post-Ivy League greatness. Along the way, they pick up women. That’s what is done, after all, with post-Ivy League greatness, and, despite all their measured humility, they each find a measure of literary success. Well, except for Mark, who is writing a dissertation, drip, drip, drip. Keith is busy as the it-boy thinker for the lefty mags, Sam is off writing his Zionist epic. They are living in New York, of course, waxing about the BQE and the Queensboro Bridge and, although their lives are not all that surprising, the writing is—it’s fun, funny, crackling, and not at all drip, drip, drip. Gessen discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. Monday, April 21, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.