All the Sad Young Literary Hotties

Keith Gessen: Author, broad-shouldered man.

The Observer is really doing some excellent shoe-leather reporting on sub-cultures these days. Last week's awkward musing on Urbane Tomboys flummoxed us (aren't these girls just hipsters who wear boy clothes, and what does this have to do with feminism?) but Doree Shafrir's story on Nerds of Steel this week is a little bit more our thing. Hipsters or Ripsters? Buff, and Proud? Oh, yes, of course, of course. The publishing industry's collective boner for hottie authors doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So it makes sense that examples of current "nerdy beefcake poster boys" include a lot of literary lads: Conan O'Brien, Keith Gessen (N+1 editor and author of everyone's favorite new galley, All The Sad Young Literary Men), and up-and-coming buff dork Benjamin Nugent. Nugent penned a book called American Nerd: The Story of My People, which will come out in May. We. Must. Read. This.

Shafrir's piece was a fun romp, but we're a bit disappointed that there wasn't some kind of sidebar thing on female buff nerds. She glosses over it by noting that "female nerds can be 'buff,' but that makes for a sexy librarian/Tina Fey kind of paradigm."

Radar has some ideas for the new tribes the Observer should hunt down, but we think their next feature should focus on a group we're going to go ahead and call Book Tramps. More specifically: Slutty Ass Bitch Whores Who Read. We are very interested in this phenomenon, given the number of prostitutes with double-lives out there.

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