SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE
A GUARDIAN SUMMER READING CHOICE
‘A new kind of campus novel . . . Taylor endows his narrative with the precision of science and the intimacy of memoir.’ – The New Yorker
‘A tender, deeply-felt, perfectly-paced novel about solitude and society, sexuality and race.’ – Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn
Wallace has spent his summer in the lab breeding a strain of microscopic worms. He is four years into a biochemistry degree at a lakeside Midwestern university, a life that’s a world away from his childhood in Alabama.
His father died a few weeks ago, but Wallace didn’t go back for the funeral, and he hasn’t told his friends Miller, Yngve, Cole and Emma. For reasons of self-preservation, he has become used to keeping a wary distance even from those closest to him. But, over the course of one blustery end-of-summer weekend, the destruction of his work and a series of intense confrontations force Wallace to grapple with both the trauma of the past, and the question of the future.
Elegant, brutal and startlingly intimate, Real Life is a campus novel about learning to live from an electric new voice in fiction.
Published 30/07/2020 in United Kingdom
Paperback | 336 pages