“It’s important to be able to encourage people without lying about their financial prospects;
to be able to say, you may write something astonishing and publish it and be lauded to the skies for it,
but it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to pay your rent.”
Lipsyte also says THE ASK is “specifically about the anxiety that capitalism in its current form injects into the process of education.”
But when a septuagenarian reader recently finished it, he told me nothing about the plot, just that he didn’t just need a shower afterward, but a steam clean.