Real Life

By Brandon Taylor,

Book cover of Real Life

Book description

A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award 
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine

Named a Best Book of…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Real Life as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A perfect fit for the not-the-same-old-queer novel list, Taylor’s story features a Black gay biochemist who is working on his degree at a Midwestern university.

I love this book for the intimacy in its portrayal of the protagonist, Wallace, the way his thoughts and feelings and decisions are revealed with such precision. I felt his joys and his pains so clearly.

A science nerd gay character! What’s not to love?

From Lucy's list on not-the-same-old queer stories.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Real Life has been widely awarded and beautifully reviewed! Wallace, a Black gay biochemistry grad student at a university in the Midwest, has been working hard on an experiment that is sabotaged by someone in his lab, a demoralizing occurrence in a long line of them. In addition to facing the racism rampant in academia, Wallace is also trying to figure out his relationship with Miller, a white guy who, despite his straightness, finds himself deeply attracted to Wallace. Over a fraught weekend, Wallace encounters both friends’ crises and his own,…

From Ilana's list on fiction about queer millennials.

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