Brandon Taylor, Real Life
A senior editor of Electric Literature and a staff writer at Literary Hub, Taylor is known as a powerful essayist for the pieces he’s published in The New Yorkeronline, Catapult, Outmagazine, and Roxane Gay’s anthology, Not That Bad. In his eagerly awaited debut novel, he turns his acute understanding of human emotions to the story of Wallace, an introverted young Black Southern man in a Midwest college. Though Wallace has friends, he keeps his distance, navigating a deep loneliness that’s tied to his sense of self-preservation. Then a series of confrontations with colleagues and an unsettling encounter with a young straight man threaten to overturn his precarious stability.
Gabriel Bump, Everywhere You Don’t Belong
Awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction, Bump has contributed both fiction and nonfiction to venues including Slammagazine, the Huffington Post, and Springhouse Journal. Writing with style and bravado, in his first novel he explores issues of race, identity, social injustice, and family through the story of Claude McKay Love. A young Black man from the South Side of Chicago, Love was raised by his grandmother, who hoped to see him carry on the struggle for civil rights. But after a riot tears apart his community, Love escapes for college and a new life—only to discover that the place and people who shaped him are not so easily left behind.
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