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Always Smiling

Paul Mendez: ‘Real Life’, 19 November 2020

Real Life 
by Brandon Taylor.
Daunt, 327 pp., £9.99, July, 978 1 911547 74 7
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... Wallace,​ the protagonist of Brandon Taylor’s first novel, Real Life, is black, gay, overweight and from Alabama. When he moved to an unnamed university town in the Midwest to study for a doctorate in biochemistry, he told himself that he had to be ‘a Midwesterner at heart’ because ‘being in the South and being gay were incompatible … no two parts of a person could be more incompatible ...

I hate my job

Niela Orr: Lauren Oyler meets herself, 15 July 2021

Fake Accounts 
by Lauren Oyler.
Fourth Estate, 272 pp., £12.99, February, 978 0 00 836652 0
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... out. Reviewing​ Fake Accounts alongside Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking about This, Brandon Taylor wrote: I’m not totally sure I believe in the Internet Novel as an aesthetic project … There are no black people in these novels. And what black people do exist only exist as superficial spoilers to liberal complacency. The modes and ...

Prejudice Rules

LRB Contributors: After Roe v. Wade, 21 July 2022

... to my mind – ‘had sex’.We might write of reproductive freedom, of justice, what Astra Taylor writes of democracy: it may not exist, but ‘we’ll miss it when it’s gone.’ Well, some will (if the polls are right – but also, fuck polls); some won’t. This will be fractiously, violently contended in coming years, as it has been for ...

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