The first collection of stories from the author of Real Life, shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize and winner of the Foyles Fiction Book Of The Year
In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, a young man tentatively engages with the world again. Recently discharged from hospital, Lionel meets two dance students at a party. Charles and Sophie’s relationship is difficult to read but Lionel is drawn to them both. As he navigates their sexually fraught encounters he is forced to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness – and to consider his return to life. Elsewhere, a little girl runs wild to the consternation of her childminder; unspoken frictions among a group of teenagers come to a vicious head on a winter night; and a woman dreads a first date only to find that something has cracked open.
What connects these stories is the tension between the surface of things and the intensity of our inner worlds. With exquisite empathy, Brandon Taylor shows that though violence hovers at the edge of many encounters, so too does tenderness and love.
‘These stories provide further evidence that intimacy is Taylor’s great subject.’ – Financial Times
‘This impressive collection excel at the minutiae of daily life.’ – The Sunday Times
‘Brimful of beautifully drawn characters, at the mercy of their bewildering emotions, Brandon is a brilliantly engaging story-teller.’ – Daily Mail
‘[Taylor’s] prose quivers with an emotional hyper-vigilance that at times almost feels alive . . . extraordinarily good on the irresolute nature of desire.’ – Evening Standard
‘Fantastic—unsettling in a very human way, fully realized, and a major success.’ – The Paris Review
‘A collection of exquisitely interlinked short stories.’ – Vogue