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Real Life Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Harper s Bazaar, BuzzFeed, andA 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 defenses 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

10 thoughts on “Real Life

  1. says:

    There is writing so exceptional, so intricately crafted that it demands reverence The intimate prose of Brandon Taylor s exquisite debut novel Real Life offers exactly that kind of writing He writes so powerfully about so many things the perils of graduate education, blackness in a predominantly white setting, loneliness, desire, trauma, need Wallace, the man at the

  2. says:

    find this review others on my blog This review would be a lot easier to write if Brandon Taylor weren t so good Real Life was like a crush, an obsession It seemed almost to beckon me like a half curled hand, and when I finished reading it, I sat in the state of suspension that often comes over me at the end of a particularly good book, the sense of coming slowly back

  3. says:

    Contemplative and absorbing, Real Life reflects on what it means to live authentically Unfolding over the course of a single summer weekend in a Midwestern college town, the story follows Wallace, a reticent biochem grad student, as he nears an existential breakdown His father has recently passed, he finds academia stultifying, and, as a queer Black man in an overwhel

  4. says:

    Brandon Taylor s Real Life is indisputably one of the best novels of our generation, and I say this because it is true Do you know how wonderful it feels to be represented as a gay black man and by one of our own Next to living, it is precisely the most euphoric feeling in the world, and so it is with immense joy that I could be one of this book s earliest champions Be

  5. says:

    Though it pains me to write it, this book and I just did not fit well together much at all I appreciate some of what it portrays, the struggles of Wallace, a gay black biochemistry graduate student living in the Midwest Brandon Taylor does an excellent job of showing the anger and then learned helplessness Wallace experiences due to overt and subtle racism throughout th

  6. says:

    I can t figure out if it s me or the books I ve been reading, but I feel like I m in a bit of a reading slump after a strong beginning in 2020 It took me forever to read Real Life It s getting a fair bit of attention and is on several books to watch in 2020 lists, but I found it hard to keep focused on the narrative Wallace is an African American graduate student in bioc

  7. says:

    Longer review to come Thanks so much to Riverhead Books for the review copy, clearly I adored this book and I m so glad I got to read it.

  8. says:

    4.25 stars Is it into this culture that he is to emerge Into the narrow, dark water of real life It had been awhile since I finished a book in one day or since I read a book that made me crybut once I started Real Life I simply couldn t stop, even if what I was reading made me mad, then sad, then mad again, and then sad all over again This is one heart wrenching novel Read

  9. says:

    This is one of the best books I ve read in a while, spread out over a few days because I was worried I d finish it too quickly The author uses some of his own experiences as a gay science grad student who is also a person of color The character Wallace questions the white apology, how much we have to bring in from our past, and how sure we have to be of our life direction I

  10. says:

    FINAL REVIEW Real Life follows Wallace, a young Black and queer Biochemistry student enrolled in a predominantly white school and living in a predominantly white town Throughout the novel, I was burning with a quiet rage due to the circumstances Wallace finds himself placed in, such as being on the receiving end of casual racism A fascinating dynamic is that several of the c

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