Brandon Taylor's book of short stories, Filthy Animals, is a bright shining explosion of beautiful writing. Six of the eleven stories are linked and dipping back and forth into Lionel's relationship with two dancers, Sophie and Charles, is hypnotic. These stories about human relationships range from those between lovers, friends, and family. How is it that Taylor can write so that we can see the interior crevices of these character's souls? Brilliantly done.
— Rachel Watkins
BRANDON TAYLOR IS: “A powerhouse.”—Newsweek “An extraordinary cartographer.”—Esquire “A striking new voice with a vital perspective.”—Harper’s Bazaar “A brilliant writer.”—Garth Greenwell
Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by TIME, Elle, Enterntainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, BuzzFeed, Vulture, 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.
About the Author
Brandon Taylor is the author of the acclaimed novel Real Life, which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. The senior editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Lit Hub, he holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Iowa, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction.
Advance Praise for Filthy Animals:
"Blistering." —Time Out
“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
“[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
“With a stark and unwavering eye and a deep respect for his subjects, Taylor builds instantly recognizable tales of longing and desire.”—Elle
“This collection offers us contexts to think about how fraught longing is, how painful it can be, and why we still yearn for it.”—Lit Hub
“Taylor spins intimate narratives of fraught relationship dynamics and demonstrates a keen sensitivity to his characters’ fragile mental health. [His] language sparks with the tension of beauty and cruelty. . . . [He] has an impressive range, and his depictions of complex characters trapped in untenable situations are hard to forget.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Brandon Taylor writes with unsparing precision about the blurry territories of fear, longing, violence, and desire. An extraordinary book that rewards, and deserves, keen attention.”—Karen Russell
“The characters at the heart of this elegant storm of stories are ablaze with risk and tenderness. Their voices are bright and clear, the contours of their pains and desires sharp and urgent. A profoundly gifted writer.”—Laura Van Den Berg
“A dazzling showcase for Brandon Taylor’s formidable talents—his fierce intellect, his emotional and linguistic precision, his dry and unflinching humor. He is a writer of rare daring, his fiction a series of revelations.” —Katie Kitamura
“A writer who meets life with a rare combination of will, wonderment, temperament, and vitality.” —Yiyun Li
“Superb work by a writer of extraordinary psychological insight.” —Joseph O’Neill