By Tao Lin
Vintage, May 1, 2018
While isolating himself to work on his novel Taipei, Tao Lin discovered the prolific work of Terence McKenna--the leading advocate of psychotropic drugs since Timothy Leary. Tao became obsessed with McKenna, whose worldview (and particular theory of drug use) seemed to present an alternate way of being. In Trip, Tao's first ever book-length work of nonfiction, he explores parallels between McKenna's life and his own in a far-reaching search for answers to looming questions: Why do we make art? What is language for? And are there essential, universal truths out there, beyond our limited range of perception?
“Trip is not only a book about drugs--it's about the condition of humans at this point in history, troublingly divorced from our natural capacity for awe by our chemically depleted bodies and minds. This book has changed how I understand myself on a cellular level. It's a superbly researched, moving, and formally inventive quest for re-enchantment, and Tao Lin's most compelling and profound book yet.” —Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?
"Trip transcends the ranks of drug memoirs to give us a characteristically nontraditional, completely unique, hilarious, tender, and at times frightening departure from everyday life such as only Tao Lin can write. With fascinating specificity, it asks essential questions about the nature of time, reality, consciousness, and the self, while holding a looking glass up to contemporary life, to ask, Is this really all there is?—and to answer, No, the possibility for knowledge is endless, and we should never cease searching." —Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star
“Similar to the psychedelic drugs Tao Lin writes about here, this book introduces new ways to consider language, perception, and recovery. It’s a joy to watch Lin interrogate his obsessions so earnestly and thoroughly in an attempt to understand more about the world as he knows it. Trip is a book for anyone interested in learning about what the human mind is capable of seeing and believing.” —Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I’m Someone Else
“Tao Lin took all the drugs so that we wouldn’t have to, and the result is astonishing, mind-expanding, beautiful, and profound. The whole of humanity seems contained in this one book.” —Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest
“Tao Lin’s writing reliably restores my sense of the inexhaustible strangeness of even one minute of human thought and feeling.” —Michael W. Clune, author of White Out
About the Author
Tao Lin is the author of the novels Taipei and Richard Yates and Eeeee Eee Eeee, the novella Shoplifting from American Apparel, the story collection Bed, and the poetry collections cognitive-behavioral therapy and you are a little bit happier than i am. He was born in Virginia, has taught in Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program, and is the founder and editor of Muumuu House.