Shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize, Brandon Taylor’s debut novel, describes a weekend in the life of a man named Wallace. He is Black, gay, and working towards an advanced degree in biochemistry at a nearly all white Midwestern University. During this early fall weekend, Wallace interacts with friends and fellow chemistry students. These encounters include a sexual relationship with a “friend” who continually denies that he is gay. The weekend forces Wallace, a passive man,to look seriously at his life and where he should be headed.
There’s a lot going on in Real Life. Taylor touches on many contemporary issues while presenting his readers with a sympathetic, yet enigmatic, main character.