Daunt Books Publishing has signed Filthy Animals, the first short story collection from 2020 Booker Prize shortlistee Brandon Taylor.
Editor Sophie Missing acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Hal Fessenden at Penguin Random House in an exclusive submission. It will be published in summer 2021, with Riverhead releasing it in the US.
The synopsis explains: “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. 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.”
Taylor is the author of the acclaimed novel Real Life (Daunt Originals), which has been shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize. He is the senior editor of Electric Literature's Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Literary Hub.
Missing said: “Filthy Animals is an unforgettable collection, a dazzling work of fiction that explores intimacy and uncertainty. Brandon writes characters like no one else and the complex dynamics within these stories are as irresistibly compelling as they are moving. It has been a joy to see readers fall in love with Real Life and we could not be happier to be bringing these exceptional stories to the world next year, alongside Riverhead.”