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Publisher's Summary

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER 

WINNER OF THE STORY PRIZE

SHORTLISTED FOR THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY USA TODAY, NPR, VULTURE, MARIE CLAIRE, THE TIMES OF LONDON, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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.

©2021 Brandon Taylor (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

Named a Best Book of the Year by Vulture and Publishers Weekly

“Sumptuous, melancholic portraits of characters overwhelmed.... Taylor has a talent for taking the dull hum of quotidian life and converting it into lyrics.... These intimacies, often cozy, pair splendidly with the uglier, more brutal elements to establish the book’s focus: the feral that lurks under the veneer.... A perfect companion piece for our nervous era.” (John Paul Brammer, New York Times Book Review

“Taylor is an important literary talent, not least for his ability to render the familiar into the shockingly unfamiliar. Full of beauty and harshness, the complex and startling stories of Filthy Animals will stick with readers long after the pages are read.” (USA Today)  

“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)

"Taylor writes with incredible clarity and precision about the lives of people in small university towns, and how they are never as quaint or idyllic as those on the outside might imagine...[his] writing...[creates] a refuge from the beastly terrors of marginalization - an untamed, unruly, ecstatic wilderness.” (The Nation)

What listeners say about Filthy Animals

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