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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 ...

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