Which is worth more—celebrity or credibility? Set in Manhattan and the Hamptons, Lit Life identifies and deconstructs this dilemma as it takes the reader on a hilarious tour through the world of two eccentric writers. Kyle Clayton, a “once hot, now not” young author and provocateur with a serious case of writer’s block, navigates New York nightlife in an inebriated haze until he meets his literary hero, the dyspeptic and obscure novelist Richard Whitehurst, who is smitten with the notion of Kyle’s former fame. Richard is suffering his own form of breakdown because of the looming collapse of his marriage, not to mention years of public ambivalence toward his work. As the two writers’ lives collide, they find in each other the crutch they’ve each been seeking—and, perhaps, the salvation that has eluded them both.
Kurt Wenzel’s taut, coruscating prose and intimate, precisely rendered take on the literary scene make this the most brilliantly realized novel about the publishing world since Martin Amis’s The Information.