The kind of writing that ensnares you from page 1, convincing you to trade your flawless falsetto for a matching pair of legs and lungs without a moment's hesitation - yes, that's the plot of The Little Mermaid; no, there's no correlation between the two stories; it's a metaphor dammit can't you see I'm under a spell here???
Taylor sketches the desire, loneliness, and trauma of being queer and Black in the white world of academia, his words the poor unfortunate souls growing toes of their own and walking among us above the waves for a brief but beautiful few hours before the covers slam shut (if you can manage to close them at all. -JR
A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.
Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends—some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defences while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.
Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds, and at what cost.