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Brandon Taylor (2)

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4+ verk 1,392 medlemmar 48 recensioner

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Foto taget av: William J. Adams/The Guardian

Verk av Brandon Taylor

Real Life (2020) 926 exemplar
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The Late Americans (2023) 190 exemplar

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Allmänna fakta

20th century
Iowa City, Iowa, USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Iowa (Writers' Workshop)
Meredith Kaffel Simonoff (DeFiore & Company)
Kort biografi
Brandon Taylor is the senior editor of Electric Literature's Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Literary Hub. His writing has received fellowships from Lambda Literary Foundation, Kimbilio Fiction, and the Tin House Summer Writer's Workshop. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction.




Perfect take on the campus novel. Queerness and blackness exploded in novel, moving ways. I hope Wallace is doing alright.
Amateria66 | 36 andra recensioner | May 24, 2024 |
featherbooks | 36 andra recensioner | May 7, 2024 |
I didn't quite enjoy this, but then again I am not overly fond of clearly autobiographical, "social issue" novels by debut novelists. Still, these are the core concerns of the vast majority of debut novelists, so I can't complain too much. My doubts were more to do with the emptiness of many of the characters and the overall milieu; perhaps I am just becoming too aged and decrepit to care about the easily emotional lives of the youth?

Lest I sound cruel, Taylor's literary style is exacting, beautiful, often poignant, able to conjure up realistic social moments of the zeitgeist as competently as more lyrical emotional passages. I will be keen to read what Taylor does next.… (mer)
therebelprince | 36 andra recensioner | Apr 21, 2024 |
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Taylor's debut novel for me is uneven, with insightful and smartly written passages intermixed with overwritten duds that could have benefited from an editor's strikethroughs and a well drawn central character (sharing strong biographical similarities with the author) surrounded by weaker secondary characters - perhaps the ingredients of a talented writer's debut novel, then.

Wallace is nearing completion of graduate school in biochemistry but is unhappy, seemingly resigned to feelings of alienation and otherness. Over a weekend in the present day, with bits of his past parceled out as the story moves along, his reasons become clear. Black, poor, and gay, Wallace had left rural Alabama for grad school in the Midwest with high hopes for the new life opening up before him, which many a student can relate to (I think of Marianne in Rooney's Normal People, on the verge of leaving her small oppressive town for university in the capital, feeling that life will now finally begin).

The reality was disillusioning. The only black student in his program, Wallace experiences the bigotry of low expectations from his program head, his fellow students, even his (mostly) well-meaning group of friends. Naturally introverted, he withdrew into himself, but he is now shaken up on the one hand by an unexpected and explosive romantic relationship with one fellow student, and on the other by a long running animosity directed his way from another student blowing up and calling his desire to remain in grad school into question. Thrown off balance, he is forced to consider what he actually wants, and how his personal history affects how he interacts with others. No final answer is forthcoming in these pages - it is about the dawning of this awareness.

Taylor writes searingly of the near constant background radiation of racist attitudes in which Wallace has to swim alone. Moments that are skipped over or given a mere awkward brief notice by his white friends are unforgettable dispiriting hurts to Wallace, and they accumulate.
Emma puts her head on Wallace's shoulder, but she won't say anything either, can't bring herself to. No one does. No one ever does. Silence is their way of getting by, because if they are silent long enough, then this moment of minor discomfort will pass for them, will fold down into the landscape of the evening as if it never happened. Only Wallace will remember it. That's the frustrating part. Wallace is the only one for whom this is a humiliation.

Taylor also writes convincingly of why people seem existentially driven to pair up, to join their life with another's:
This is perhaps why people get together in the first place. The sharing of time. The sharing of the responsibility of anchoring oneself in the world. Life is less terrible when you can just rest for a moment, put everything down and wait without having to worry about being washed away. People take each other's hands and they hold on as tight as they can, they hold on to each other and to themselves, and when they let go, they can because they know that the other person will not.

These gems fight for attention in the novel with other overdrawn scenes, like a game of tennis in which we learn far too much about Wallace's strengths and weaknesses on the tennis court, and with distractingly over-detailed writing, such as - and this is just pulled from near the end of the book because I just read it and it's the most recent example in my mind - "Wallace fries the fish quickly, turning each piece just as it begins to brown so that it is crispy but not dry or burned." I mean, just say "Wallace fries the fish quickly" and end it!

In sum, a timely novel with some real strong points that Taylor will likely surpass with later novels.
… (mer)
lelandleslie | 36 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |



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