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  • Writer's pictureCharles Arrowsmith

Review: The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor (Boston Globe)


“The Late Americans” is Brandon Taylor’s best book so far. More mature than his Booker-nominated debut, “Real Life,” more polished than “Filthy Animals,” his third is a novel about the anxieties and pieties of millennial grad students as they grapple with the art life and, more literally, each other. Taylor asks the big questions: What does art demand? (“Was it worth putting your whole family on the brink of extinction?”) How does one live an ethical life? Is it possible to slip the reins of class, race, and gender to forge lasting connections with others?


Taylor refracts these questions through the perspectives of a group of people, mostly gay, as their lives intersect in present-day Iowa City. Most of them are at the university — teaching logic, pursuing futures in dance, completing MBAs. Others have so-called “real” jobs: Bea teaches swimming; “Fyodor worked in beef, as a leaner.” They drink and argue and dance and sleep together: This is the meat of the book.


For the review in full, visit the Boston Globe.

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