Love in the Time of Creative-Writing Classes, with Brandon Taylor

14 February 2024

Our guest this week is Brandon Taylor, whose new book The Late Americans is a stark retooling of the campus novel for the 21st century. Taking a university town in Iowa as his canvas, Taylor depicts the lives of a loose group of friends and associates: Seamus, Fyodor, Ivan, Noah and Fatima—students of writing and dance—as time barrels them towards the end of their studies and the harsh realities of the so-called “real” world beyond. The novel lives in Taylor’s delicate and perceptive handling of the complicated interplay of money, class, race, art and sex—the bonds each of these can form between us and the divides they create. It is a book rich in ideas and reflections about contemporary life, contemporary America in particular, but these would all be for nothing without the meticulously wrought human comedy—in all its beauty and ugliness—at its core.

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