[EPUB] ✸ Real Life ✽ Brandon Taylor – Rvtrek.info

Real Life I read this book as a first draft and just finished the ARC What strikes me between those two pieces of work is the way BT has shaved down the language to the sharpest most poignant themes There s no getting away from the harsh truths in this novel cruelty, feigned intimacy, racism, family and friendship I understand Wallace probably as well as I understand myself Sometimes he s wrong and sometimes he s absolutely right about the way he sees the world. Real Life was an unmerciful novel that tore down the walls of the fiction we have all come to know and love Brandon Taylor manages to navigate pinpoint dialogue in the way only Rachel Cusk can currently do, and also descriptively break you by constant heartache and feelings towards his protagonist reminiscent of Toni Morrison and James Baldwin A feverish novel that literally takes place over three days but managed to open my eyes to a lifetime of misfortunes and unheralded simple everyday injustices towards certain minority groups by people they consider allies This was an uncomfortable read at times for me as a white man but that was the point, to show the other side, the life I don t live, the privilege I m awarded everyday waking up white and straight That aspect alone was enough to cause a sadness deep within while transgressing the journey of this novel..Wallace is the main character, a grad student from Alabama getting a biochem degree in a midwestern college town dominated by white people His entire friend group is white and the racial disparity is glaring Time after time Wallace seems to be the scapegoat to his friend groups problems, and at the same time a confidant they want to confide in, yet never really care to learn about him or see how he s doing, any problem is just him overreacting or being dramatic He was almost like a placebo his friends would abuse to temporarily feel better about themselves, a pill to swallow and then feel relief, never questioning their disloyalties and effortlessly placing him back on the shelf once they ve used him, but never genuinely solving any problem.As we dive deeper Wallace begins to have a romantic relationship with an apparent friend named Miller whose feigning his sexuality and they begin to swim in the deep end of each others lives, testing the waters of what they can and can t trust Desire gives way to toxic and traumatic pasts we are finally shown the true people these two are, along with everyone else surrounding them This novel by Taylor was an excellent case study on the dynamic of a friend group, the toxic friendships and race problems in this world, and the general lack of empathy in todays generation A true genius work that will mark the beginning of an illustrious career of a wonderful man and writer.Also added bonus points bc Brandon is a huge Knausgaard fan and named one of his characters after Knausgaards brother from his my struggle series A fun connection made between him and I And again Brandon thank you for writing this novel and being candid with me while I read it. Such a great combination of humor and seriousness, w surprising insights on intimacy I ll be thinking about this one for a long time There s also a breathless chapter I don t think I ll ever stop thinking about An amazing debut. I tend to get a little personal in my book reviews, considering reading is a highly personal act for me I typically read not for escape but for self illumination But when books like the upcoming novel by Brandon Taylor, Real Life books so in tune with how I live and fear and love come along, I almost freeze up to talk about it.My immediate response when I started reading was that Taylor writes amazing dialogue between men The restraint, often amid great emotional feeling, of many of the male characters is rendered in an almost painfully real way.But the book s most tremendous power, though, lies in the interiority of its main character, Wallace Those who know me know that A Little Life is my favourite contemporary novel, and much of that comes from the brutal and bold examination of Jude St Francis traumatized psyche Taylor does similar, equally powerful work with his introverted graduate student Wallace, who must learn how to make sense of the past, face racism and homophobia and fear of failure, and live in the real world amongst friends and potential lovers.Both Life novels are books about the male body, but Taylor s book goes farther than anything I ve read a visceral examination of the queer male body and how it can sabotage and complicate a queer male heart Real Life was a heartbreaker but also a JOY to read mostly because it s so damn relatable the way we fail as friends and lovers, the way we sell ourselves short, and the way we don t make room for the stories of the people in our lives out of fear of connection and the way telling those stories can, to a large extent, set ourselves free. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review Opinions are my own.This debut novel is a gift to the world of novels It is so quietly stirring that you won t know what hit you by the end Following an introverted PhD candidate named Wallace in close third person, Taylor skillfully weaves a story of friendship and superficiality, the subtle and ubiquitous ways in which white supremacy plays out in a white dominant Midwestern friend group, queer love and queer infatuation It s also the best portrayal of an introvert s inner and outer life I ve ever read It takes place over the course of a single weekend, but the emotional depths of Wallace s character unfold with such precision and nuance that the very scary violence taking place in both the past and the present almost feel distant By that I mean, Wallace is very good at repression as a mechanism of survival, and the prose is written so smoothly as to put the reader in that exact place with him a place where distance must be maintained from the myriad of violences Real Life is one of those timeless stories that also perfectly captures a generational moment I highly recommend it. PERFECT BOOK REAL LIFE was my most anticipated novel of 2020 I feel like I ve been reading Brandon Taylor s work forever, and remember clearly the day on Twitter when he got into Iowa This debut novel exceeded my expectations It s a stunner.REAL LIFE follows Wallace, an introverted biology grad student in the Midwest, a Southern gay black man navigating the predominately white higher ed, over the course of a single late summer weekend The writing is profound beautiful Wallace, Miller, and their friend group colleagues are characters I ll be thinking about forever The book hangover is real with this one Taylor writes so beautifully about loneliness in a room full of people, about desire for a life other than the one you re in, and this novel brings up haunting questions of who we are given our pain, our pasts, the hurt we hold onto project onto others I could go on on REAL LIFE comes out in February I HIGHLY recommend you preordering it. 30 11 19A sincere thank you to Riverhead Books for gifting me a copy of Real Life You can find me on This too could be his life, Wallace thinks This thing with Miller, eating fish in the middle of the night, watching the gray air of the night sky over the roof next door This could be their life together, each moment shared, passed back and forth between each other to alleviate the pressure, the awful pressure of having to hold on to time for oneself 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 I mean Golden One of the best debut novels I ve read in ages Prepare yourselves. 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 Because when it comes to realizing the anxieties and nuances of our humanity, Taylor has given life to a character gay literature has been hellbent on keeping in the shadows.A story as painfully pure as its name, Taylor s forthcoming debut Real Life illustrates all the grueling battles of so many gay black men like Wallace, the nucleus of this story, who endure the lonesome journey for shelter and mercy under the false claim of acceptance Wallace learns this lesson as a biochem graduate student in a Midwestern town when he s forced to face his predominantly white friend group and the peers with whom he encounters in academia, giving rise to a whole scourge of conflicts involving racism, queerbaiting, tokenism, white mediocrity, fragility, and entitlement These sufferings all feel a little less intolerable when a benevolent friend makes an unsuspectingly affectionate advance on Wallace, who timidly gives into whims and wants of his own But friendships, like the embrace of such sudden love, can only be a forcefield for so long until the burden of race, class, and expectation has its way.My entire life, as a gay black boy from the scraps of Michigan, I dreamt of the day I d write a story, my story this story Brandon has beaten me to the punch, but what a glorious sight it is to see another one of us leap across the finish line Much like the catharsis of Elio in front of that ungodly fireplace in Call Me by Your Name or how briskly my heart dissolved as Jack was slain in Brokeback Mountain, Real Life has the sort of cinematic charm to render any audience hot with tears.Saeed Jones, Danez Smith, and now Brandon Taylor My Charlie s Angels My Destiny s Child My beloveds Thank you all for keeping us alive If you liked my review, feel free to follow me parisperusing on Instagram. A Novel Of Startling Intimacy, Violence, And Mercy Among Friends In A Midwestern University Town, From An Electric New Voice A Novel Of Rare Emotional Power That Excavates The Social Intricacies Of A Late Summer Weekend And A Lifetime Of Buried Pain Almost Everything About Wallace, An Introverted African American Transplant From Alabama, Is At Odds With The Lakeside Midwestern University Town Where He Is Working Toward A Biochem Degree 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 A Series Of Confrontations With Colleagues, And An Unexpected Encounter With A Young Straight Man, Conspire To Fracture His Defenses, While Revealing Hidden Currents Of Resentment And Desire That Threaten The Equilibrium Of Their Community Real Life Is A Gut Punch Of A Novel, A Story That Asks If It S Ever Really Possible To Overcome Our Private Wounds And Buried Histories And At What Cost

About the Author: Brandon Taylor

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

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