Real Life: Unquestionably the queer novel of the year

Book review: Brandon Taylor’s great campus novel marks the arrival of an exciting new talent

Brandon Taylor: an effortless documenter of the domestic

Brandon Taylor: an effortless documenter of the domestic

When the Booker longlist dropped a couple weeks ago it was met with a thunderous cacophony of puffs and groans. Nearly half of the 13 books (a Booker’s dozen, if you’re cringe) were written by Yanks. Now, I’m always front of the queue when it comes to dunking on the Yanks, but even I have to admit their track record in the Booker has been pretty phenomenal. To even further refute the criticism of their inclusion, we have the existence of Brandon Taylor and his novel Real Life, a book that is unquestionably the queer novel of the year.

Real Life may be Taylor’s debut but he is something of a veteran in online literary circles. The grande dame of literary Twitter, Taylor is well-known for his blistering (but always considered) literary hot takes, his adulation of Mavis Gallant, his bloody conquest against first-person narratives, and his penchant for all things knitwear. All of this, I believe, makes Taylor the first Extremely Online writer to make it on to the Booker longlist, a feat I am proclaiming as representation.

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