I submit to you, dear reader, a pair of pie charts showing the varieties of “facial expression” that appear in Tao Lin’s novella, Shoplifting from American Apparel. This ridiculously simple phrase, repeated over 25 times, never once dropping the redundant word, “facial”, is one of many signals that in this novella, the style is the story.

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I submit to you, dear reader, a list of five sentences from The Five People You Meet In Heaven, (presented on an image taken from the author’s website) which I hope will demonstrate a simple stylistic principle: vague superlatives fail to impress.

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