Filthy Animals (Hardback)

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Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by TimeElleEnterntainment WeeklyCosmopolitan, O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s BazaarMarie Claire, BuzzFeedVulture, Thrillist, The Week, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, The Millions, and Paperback Paris 

A group portrait of young adults enmeshed in desire and violence, a hotly charged, deeply satisfying new work of fiction from the author of Booker Prize finalist Real Life 

In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, set among young creatives in the American Midwest, a young man treads delicate emotional waters as he navigates a series of sexually fraught encounters with two dancers in an open relationship, forcing him to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness. In other stories, a young woman battles with the cancers draining her body and her family; menacing undercurrents among a group of teenagers explode in violence on a winter night; a little girl tears through a house like a tornado, driving her babysitter to the brink; and couples feel out the jagged edges of connection, comfort, and cruelty.

One of the breakout literary stars of 2020, Brandon Taylor has been hailed by Roxane Gay as “a writer who wields his craft in absolutely unforgettable ways.” With Filthy Animals he renews and expands on the promise made in Real Life, training his precise and unsentimental gaze on the tensions among friends and family, lovers and others. Psychologically taut and quietly devastating, Filthy Animals is a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems, more often than not, to withhold it.

Author: Brandon Taylor

Hardback Published 22 June 2021 288 pages

Read and Recommended by Hendri:

"Brandon Taylor is back and once again demonstrating his masterful skill in grasping upon the unsayable. After the highly-acclaimed, Man Booker shortlisted debut, Real Life, comes this collection of short stories about young adults grappling with desire, vulnerability, and violence. Set in the American midwest with interconnected stories and characters, Filthy Animals begins with the portrait of a young man named Lionel traversing the tightrope of his open relationship with two dancers. Through his encounters with Sophie and Charles, Lionel must confront his deeply-buried trauma and the uncertainty and unknowingness of what he truly wants from the relationships. In another follow-up story, Lionel and Charles meet again in a dance class, forcing them to reconcile what had happened between them after an intimate night. Taylor is so accomplished at depicting unspoken desire and tempts readers to decipher what is not being said in these encounters. Other stories expose the mortality creeping inside the body through a young woman battling with cancers, the failures of a babysitter dealing with the nightmare of her job, and the ambiguous line between love and hate as couples live through compassion and indifference simultaneously. Once again, Taylor has tenderly pushed us to grapple with the edges of intimacy that linger and may go unrecognised."  

“With Filthy Animals, [Taylor] applies his captivating, precise prose to the short form. These linked narratives thoughtfully examine a group of brainy Midwesterners dwelling deep inside their own heads, falling forward into one another's orbits.” O: The Oprah Magazine

“A probing short story collection that grapples with societal expectations and transgressions . . . a luminous exploration of identity, mental health, and sexuality.” —BuzzFeed

“[These stories] all paint a picture of the simultaneous beauties and woes of life: a craving for intimacy, a secret desire for love masked by an indifference toward it, and the lasting effects of pain on present-day life.” Cosmopolitan

“A powerhouse.” Newsweek

“An extraordinary cartographer.” Esquire

“A striking new voice with a vital perspective.” Harpers Bazaar

“A brilliant writer.” Garth Greenwell

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