Brandon Taylor returns with his richest and most involving work of fiction to date, a novel of intimacy and precarity, friendship and chosen family, confirming his position as one of our most perceptive chroniclers of contemporary life.
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. At the group’s centre are 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 three are buffeted by a cast of poets, artists, landlords, meat-packing workers and mathematicians who populate the cafés, classrooms and food-service kitchens of Iowa 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 them all irrevocably altered.
From the author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted Real Life and the international bestseller Filthy Animals, The Late Americans is a deeply involving new novel of young men and women at a crossroads.