What is Lou Reed’s Nephew?

Set in a New York City co-working space in 2013, Lou Reed’s Nephew unfolds—like Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew, from which it takes inspiration—via a months-long acquaintance between the title character and a struggling Gen X entrepreneur who is by turns baffled, shocked, and awed by his blithe young interlocutor. Along the way, they dissect such important topics as storytelling, boring people, the disappearance of typing as a profession, the cult of best practices, Big Data, the failure of writing as a communication technology, and scrimshaw.

An excerpt from Lou Reed’s Nephew appeared in Novel Slices and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Michael Martone selected the book as runner-up for the 2023 Texas Review Press Clay Reynolds Novella Prize. At Hilobrow, Joshua Glenn called it a “wickedly smart, highly entertaining experimental fiction.” Toby Ferris, author of the online project Anatomy of Norbiton and  Short Life in a Strange World (Fourth Estate/Harper, 2020), wrote of it: “I’d just like to say how much I enjoyed it, and how smart and funny it is, and also how properly peculiar it is. [Jim Hanas] has a real gift for standing the world on its head and seeing what drops out of its pockets.” It was discussed sparingly in the Nov/Dec 2023 issue of Poets & Writers.

Lou Reed’s Nephew was serialized on Substack from June 20 to October 27, 2023. You can read it from the beginning, starting with the first episode.

About the Author

Jim Hanas is the author of the short story collection Why They Cried (Joyland/ECW Press). His writing has appeared in Electric Literature, Fence, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and One Story. He has written about media and culture for Ad Age, Fast Company, and the New York Observer. He holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Memphis.

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Jim Hanas

Unauthorized biographer of Lou Reed's Nephew. Email: jim.hanas [at] gmail.com.