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The Late Americans: Book summary and reviews of The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor

The Late Americans

A Novel

by Brandon Taylor

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor X
The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor
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  • Published May 2023
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

The widely acclaimed author of Real Life and Filthy Animals returns with a deeply involving new novel of young men and women at a crossroads

In the shared and private spaces of Iowa City, a loose circle of lovers and friends encounter, confront, and provoke one another in a volatile year of self-discovery. Among them are Seamus, a frustrated young poet; Ivan, a dancer turned aspiring banker who dabbles in amateur pornography; Fatima, whose independence and work ethic complicate her relationships with friends and a trusted mentor; and Noah, who "didn't seek sex out so much as it came up to him like an anxious dog in need of affection." These four are buffeted by a cast of artists, landlords, meatpacking workers, and mathematicians who populate the cafes, classrooms, and food-service kitchens of the city, sometimes to violent and electrifying consequence. Finally, as each prepares for an uncertain future, the group heads to a cabin to bid goodbye to their former lives—a moment of reckoning that leaves each of them irrevocably altered.

A novel of friendship and chosen family, The Late Americans asks fresh questions about love and sex, ambition and precarity, and about how human beings can bruise one another while trying to find themselves. It is Brandon Taylor's richest and most involving work of fiction to date, confirming his position as one of our most perceptive chroniclers of contemporary life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Taylor's characters come to life ... through scenes cut with razor-sharp observations... With verve and wit, Taylor pulls off something like Sally Rooney for the Midwest." —Publishers Weekly

"Complicated and unhappy relationships and sex that seems more like a reflex than a choice are the main motifs throughout much of the novel ... Lots of characters. Not a lot of depth." —Kirkus Reviews

"Taylor writes feelings and physical interactions with a kind of sixth sense, creating scenes readers will visualize with ease. At the beginning and ending of things and in confronting gradations of sex, power, and class, ambivalence pervades. Lovers of character studies and fine writing will enjoy getting lost in this." —Booklist

"[An] insightful and razor-sharp portrait of the interconnected lives of a cohort of writers, dancers, and thinkers living in the contemporary American Midwest ... A splendidly wrought and emotionally engrossing novel [that] continues to cement Brandon Taylor as a standout literary voice." —Shelf Awareness

"Erudite, intimate, hilarious, poignant ... A gorgeously written novel of youth's promise, of the quest to find one's tribe and one's calling." —Leigh Haber, Oprah Daily

"[An] intense, finely tuned book. Taylor is an inimitable talent." —Elle

"Brandon Taylor's third book is the most dazzling example of his sharp pen and keen observations of human nature yet... . Taylor develops his characters so precisely, they feel like close friends: recognizable, sometimes infuriating, and always worth following to the book's last page." —Harper's Bazaar

"Provocative ... Through Taylor's signature intimacy, we see casual emotional devastation, prickly social interactions, and wry humor with keen clarity." —Vulture

"A stunning work of fiction, with characters that are unforgettable and writing that is frequently breathtaking. I can't shout its praises enough." —David Vogel, Buzzfeed

"Anyone who's ever struggled to find themselves while so many around them are doing the same (hello, everyone's early 20s) will find kinship in this novel." —Good Housekeeping

"Brandon Taylor takes a new spin and reimagines the classic friend getaway with queer characters... Contemporary readers will love this provocative but intimate novel about friendships, ambition, and community." —Cosmopolitan

"The Late Americans weaves throughout perspectives of its cast of characters, creating a story you'll be thinking about long after you put it down." —Town & Country

"A searing, layered examination of found family, gender, queerness, class, and artistry, The Late Americans is the perfect read for all the messy gay twenty-somethings in your life." —Them

This information about The Late Americans was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and a Science + Literature Selected Title by the National Book Foundation. His collection Filthy Animals, a national bestseller, was awarded The Story Prize and shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is the 2022-2023 Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

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