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‘Real Life’ From a Queer Black Perspective

Bill Adams

Brandon Taylor’s highly praised debut novel, Real Life, gets deep into desire, intimacy, sex, abuse, homophobia, racism, misogyny, love, hate and the blurred lines between friends and lovers. Oh, and let’s not forget cut-throat scientific academia.

Taylor’s novel is based on his experiences as a Black gay graduate student navigating a predominantly white Midwestern campus.  In Real Life – over one intense weekend – readers follow protagonist Wallace and his friends as they navigate complex relationships and struggle with the question: What is real life? 

Hear Taylor read from and discuss what O: The Oprah Magazine called a “blistering coming of age story”and that The New Yorker described as a “brooding campus novel,” and give us his takes on personal and societal challenges.

Photo of Brandon Taylor by Bill Adams

Real Life, Taylor’s first novel, was short-listed for this year’s prestigious Booker Prize, named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR and many other media outlets. A feature-length film is in the works.

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