Lipsky, David 1965-
LIPSKY, David 1965-
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Vintage, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Writer and journalist.
AWARDS, HONORS: MacDowell fellowship; Henry Hoyns fellowship; GLAAD Media Award, and Time magazine Best Books designation, both 2003; Lambert fellowship.
Three Thousand Dollars: Stories, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 1989.
(With Alexander Abrams) Late Bloomers: Coming of Age in Today's America: The Right Place at the Wrong Time, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.
The Art Fair (fiction), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1996.
The Pallbearer (novel), Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.
Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point (nonfiction), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.
Contributor of articles and short fiction to periodicals, including New Yorker, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Harper's, and Details. Work anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. Contributing editor, Rolling Stone.
SIDELIGHTS: The author of both fiction and nonfiction, David Lipsky is coauthor with Alexander Abrams of Late Bloomers: Coming of Age in Today's America: The Right Place at the Wrong Time. In this sociological look at the early 1990s, the authors attempt to place the twenty-something generation then referred to as Generation X within a socioeconomic context. Daniel Radosh, writing in the National Review, described the book as "by turns infuriating, clever, insightful, and predictable." Reviewing Late Bloomers for Christian Century, Henry G. Brinton noted that the "writers' personal perspectives are valuable" in their efforts to re-characterize a body of Americans that had been painted negatively by the media.
Lipsky's Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point grew out of an article the author wrote while on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine. Given rare and broad-ranging access to cadets without military oversight on interviews, Lipsky details the life of cadet Company G-4 over its members' four years at the military academy. Company members entering in 1999 graduated into a far different world, a world struggling with the aftereffects of 9/11 and an international war on terrorism. In the book, Lipsky focuses in particular on individual young men that range from an overachieving sergeant to a malcontent. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that the author is "evenhanded with … controversial aspects of both the military in general and West Point." While Edwin B. Burgess, writing in the Library Journal, called Absolutely American "essentially a popular, though serious, study," Booklist contributor Roland Green noted that "Lipsky treats issues of gender and sex (note the distinction) particularly skillfully" and called the overall effort "outstanding reportage." For Time contributor Lev Grossman, Lipsky's volume presents "a fascinating, funny and tremendously well written account of life on the Long Gray Line," and Jonathan E. Czarnecki, writing in the Naval War College Review, stated: "If the reader knows of a young person who aspires to attend a college-level military academy … give that person this book to read, cover to cover."
Among Lipsky's fictional works is The Art Fair, a novel that tells the story of a teenager unhealthily attached to his mother. Richard Freely's divorced mother is a failed New York painter, and Richard decides to move in with her after tiring of living in Los Angeles with his father. Richard thinks he can boost his mother's low morale and help her more effectively navigate life. In the novel, Lipsky opens a window onto the New York art world while illustrating the character of a young man coming to terms with an unhealthy and destructive obsession. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "readers may appreciate Lipsky's understated style, both wide-eyed and satirical," while Donna Seaman commented in Booklist that "the combination of Lipsky's unfailing psychological acumen and Seinfeld-like sensibility (minus the slapstick) makes for a distinctive and thoroughly enjoyable literary experience." In People, Joanne Kaufman called The Art Fair "a poised first novel" and added that "Lipsky's portrayal of the '70s art world is unblinking, [and] his portrayal of the ties between parent and child deeply affecting."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 1994, Virginia Dwyer, review of Late Bloomers: Coming of Age in Today's America: The Right Place at the Wrong Time, p. 9; May 15, 1996, Donna Seaman, review of The Art Fair, p. 1569; July, 2003, Roland Green, review of Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, p. 1851.
Chicago Tribune, August 12, 2003, Robert H. Moore, review of Absolutely American.
Christian Century, March 1, 1995, Henry G. Brinton, review of Late Bloomers, p. 247.
Entertainment Weekly, July 11, 2003, Wook Kim, review of Absolutely American, p. 82.
Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2003, Chris Patsilellis, review of Absolutely America.
Kliatt, September, 2004, Raymond Puffer, review of Absolutely American, p. 44.
Library Journal, July, 2003, Edwin B. Burgess, review of Absolutely American, p. 105.
National Review, December 31, 1994, Daniel Radosh, review of Late Bloomers, p. 59.
Naval War College Review, spring, 2004, Jonathan E. Czarnecki, review of Absolutely American, p. 183.
Newsweek, July 7, 2003, T. Trent Gegax, review of Absolutely American, p. 10.
People, July 29, 1996, Joanne Kaufman, review of The Art Fair, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, October 10, 1994, review of Late Bloomers, p. 57; April 8, 1996, review of The Art Fair, p. 58; June 9, 2003, review of Absolutely American, p. 48.
Time, July 7, 2003, Lev Grossman, review of Absolutely American, p. 98.
Powells.com, http://www.powells.com/ (August 6, 2003), David Weich, interview with Lipsky.