Own it, snowflakes: you've lost everything you claim to hold dear.
White is Bret Easton Ellis's first work of nonfiction. Already the bad boy of American literature, from Less Than Zero to American Psycho, Ellis has also earned the wrath of right-thinking people everywhere with his provocations on social media, and here he escalates his admonishment of received truths as expressed by today's version of "the left." Eschewing convention, he embraces views that will make many in literary and media communities cringe, as he takes aim at the relentless anti-Trump fixation, coastal elites, corporate censorship, Hollywood, identity politics, Generation Wuss, "woke" cultural watchdogs, the obfuscation of ideals once both cherished and clear, and the fugue state of American democracy. In a young century marked by hysterical correctness and obsessive fervency on both sides of an aisle that's taken on the scale of the Grand Canyon, White is a clarion call for freedom of speech and artistic freedom.
"The central tension in Ellis's art—or his life, for that matter—is that while [his] aesthetic is the cool reserve of his native California, detachment over ideology, he can't stop generating heat.... He's hard-wired to break furniture."—Karen Heller, The Washington Post
"Sweating with rage . . . humming with paranoia."—Anna Leszkiewicz, The Guardian
"Snowflakes on both coasts in withdrawal from Rachel Maddow's nightly Kremlinology lesson can purchase a whole book to inspire paroxysms of rage . . . a veritable thirst trap for the easily microaggressed. It's all here. Rants about Trump derangement syndrome; MSNBC; #MeToo; safe spaces."—Bari Weiss, The New York Times
Look for Bret Easton Ellis’s new novel, The Shards!
Political correctness is destroying America's mind and soul, according to this contentious manifesto. Novelist, screenwriter, and podcaster Ellis, whose American Psycho sparked a furor with its grisly rapes and murders, lambastes "the threatening groupthink of progressive ideology, which proposes universal inclusivity except for those who dare to ask any questions." He focuses on social-justice hysteria in the entertainment and media industries: critics of mediocre movies by or about women, gays, and minorities, he contends, get tagged with upholding white male privilege; social media platforms enforce "corporate conformism and censorship... stamping out passion and silencing the individual;" Trump Derangement Syndrome consumes Ellis's Hollywood associates and his boyfriend, who is obsessed with Russia-collusion theories. Ellis's loose-jointed essay weaves in scenes from his days as an alienated writer adrift in Manhattan, film criticism, and an impassioned defense of artistic transgression, arguing that "to be challenged... to get wiped out by the cruelty of someone's vision" promotes a mature understanding of life. Ellis's pop-culture preoccupations sometimes feel callow he paints Charlie Sheen and Kanye West as America's last free men and his critique of leftists as "haters" who "came across as anti-common sense, anti-rational and anti-American" is an unoriginal reprise of ideas commonplace to right-wing media outlets.Still, his vigorous, daring take on today's ideological wars will provoke much thought and more controversy.