'Complex' debut to Daunt Books Publishing

'Complex' debut to Daunt Books Publishing

Daunt Books Publishing has snapped up a debut from Brandon Taylor which promises “complex and vulnerable” characters.

Editor Sophie Missing acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Real Life at auction from Jennifer Choi at Penguin Random House. The novel will be published on the Daunt Books Originals list in June 2020 while Riverhead will publish in February in the US.

The synopsis explains: “Wallace is a biochemistry grad student at a lakeside Midwestern university used to keeping a wary distance even from those closest to him. His class is the first in more than three decades to include a black student, something Wallace has not been allowed to forget.

“But, over the course of one weekend at the end of summer, a series of confrontations with colleagues and an unexpected shift in his relationship with a friend, Miller, force him to grapple with intimacy, desire, the trauma of the past and the question of the future.”

Missing said: ‘Brandon Taylor is an exceptional writer and Real Life is an immensely accomplished debut – a nuanced, powerful novel that forces you to think more closely about connection, loneliness, trauma and desire. It’s poised and precise, brutal and tender, with characters that are remarkably complex and vulnerable in a way that characters aren’t always allowed to be. Its emotional ripples stay with you long after reading.”

Taylor said: “I am thrilled to be partnering with Daunt to bring this book into the world.”

Brandon Taylor is the senior editor of Electric Literature's Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Literary Hub. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa.