Brat Pack (literary)

Brat Pack (literary)

The "literary Brat Pack" was a term created by the media to refer to a group of young authors in the 1980s. Labelled the "literary brat pack" in a 1987 article in the "Village Voice", Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz were presented as the new face of literature: young, iconoclastic and fresh. In many ways, this nickname was meant pejoratively, as the accompanying article pictured faces of the three pasted onto cut-outs of babies in diapers. Yet their impact on literature and their vast popularity rendered this nickname an affectionate branding of the new wave of young minimalist authors. Each presented a particular challenge to established literary criticism: McInerney's debut novel, "Bright Lights, Big City", was told entirely in second-person singular, a groundbreaking mechanism. Janowitz's "Slaves of New York" explored themes of sexual politics against a backdrop of New York's peculiarities rendered honestly, and Ellis's "Less Than Zero" chronicled a post-adolescent disconnect with society that seemed shocking and pathological.

The works of the Brat Pack authors owed a debt to the minimalist works of Raymond Carver and Ann Beattie, who used clear and sometimes dispassionate ways of rendering modern life that were a clear break from the linguistically heavy and very polite fiction of the previous generation. Unafraid to tackle suburban anxiety and urban angst, the authors broke new ground in subject matter and in style.

In the September/October 2005 issue of "Pages" magazine, the literary Brat Pack is identified as Bret Easton Ellis, Tama Janowitz,Jay McInerney, and Mark Lindquist. McInerney and Janowitz were based in New York City. Others affiliated with this group include Susan Minot, Donna Tartt, Peter Farrelly and David Leavitt. Lindquist lived in Venice, California, and Ellis moved from Sherman Oaks (in Los Angeles) to Manhattan after the success of "Less Than Zero".

In an article titled "Where Are They Now?" "Pages" magazine reported that the original four Brat pack authors socialized, but did not have that much in common other than that they were young and well hyped, and that their books were aggressively marketed to a youth audience.

External links

* [http://www.jaymcinerney.com Jay McInerney's official website]
* [http://www.notanexit.net/ a fan page for the works of Bret Easton Ellis]
* [http://www.marklindquist.net Mark Lindquist's official website]


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