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    Inhaltsangabe

    A Finalist for the 2020 Booker Prize

    And the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize

    A New York Times Editors' Choice

    “A blistering coming of age story” (O: The Oprah Magazine)

    Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, New York Public Library, Vanity Fair, Elle, NPR, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Harper's BazaarFinancial Times, Huffington Post, BBC, Shondaland, Barnes & Noble, VultureThrillist, VICE, SELF, Electric Literature, and Shelf Awareness

    A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.

    Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, Black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends - some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, White classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.  

    Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds, and at what cost.

    ©2020 Brandon Taylor (P)2020 Penguin Audio

    Kritikerstimmen

    "[A] stunning debut...Taylor proves himself to be a keen observer of the psychology of not just trauma, but its repercussions.... There is a delicacy in the details of working in a lab full of microbes and pipettes that dances across the pages like the feet of a Cunningham dancer: pure, precise poetry." (Jeremy O. Harris, The New York Times Book Review)

    "Equal parts captivating, erotic, smart and vivid...[rendered] with tenderness and complexity, from the first gorgeous sentence of his book to its very last...Taylor is also tackling loneliness, desire and - more than anything - finding purpose, meaning and happiness in one’s own life." (Time)

    "[Real Life is] a sophisticated character study of someone squaring self-preservation with a duty to tolerate people who threaten it. The book teems with passages of transfixing description, and perhaps its greatest asset is the force of Wallace’s isolation, which Taylor conveys with alien strangeness." (The New Yorker)

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    • AHB
    • 04.02.2021

    coming of age in the lab, must read for scientists

    Real life describes the events of one weekend in the life of genetics PhD candidate Wallace, at some Midwestern University. Wallace has more on his plate than seems fair: being black and gay in academia and struggling with the traumas of his past as much as with everyday racism, the failed experiment feels like the last straw.
    The story must be eye-opening for anyone who somehow got through their 20s with less baggage. Brandon Taylor delivers a moving portray of a group of friends and the loneliness of its members. His style is pleasant, fascinating even in hyper-realistic or hyper-sensitive observations of his characters' motions. There are some less elegant passages and not all of the dialogue works (especially when it's read aloud), but the beginning and ending chapters are powerful in their own right. Kevin R. Free's reading is decent, giving recognizable voices to the characters, without fuss or big drama.
    Being a molecular biologist myself, I enjoyed the realistic descriptions of lab life and rivalries and the dooming sense that there must be more to life. I'd make it compulsory reading for colleagues who have the pleasure and responsibility of supervising young academics. More than that, it's a engaging story about finding a place in the world, friendship, and overcoming agonizing conditions.