Book Review: ‘The Late Americans,’ by Brandon Taylor

Taking over the narrative baton are finance and piano students Ivan and Golan, and two other dancers, Daw and Noah. And Fyodor, who is employed in a meatpacking plant and perhaps unluckily dating the vegetarian and logician Timo, also opposes the slaughter of animals but supports the death penalty for mass shooters. Painters and others fly by.

Flowcharts are useful for tracking all overlapping relationships, job titles, and ethnicities here. A gown, a city, something in between. But opportunity and mission are arbitrary, and who can make art? who has to dig trenches? — clear and sharp. Fyodor brings a sculptor’s sensibility to beef cuts. As an e-mail flashes brightly, Ivan steps from penniless to infinite future in New York.

Fewer and fewer female characters have become more marginal, but two still make an appearance. Another dancer, Fatima, is upset about her side job as a barista and suffers from an unwanted pregnancy. One of Noah’s neighbors, Bee, was abused by her father, a sturgeon farmer, who “tightly pinched her breasts and made noises like a goose”.

She teaches poor children to swim, and in her spare time she carves fingers out of fibreboard. She is older than the other students and seems to be visiting from another book. (When she encountered her bloody fingerprints on her playground, I felt the same kind of shudder I felt in Truman Capote’s classic short stories.Miriam. ”)

As the title suggests, “The Late Americans” is full of nihilism, a sense that society is coming to an end. Hospice patients are preoccupied with the extinction of turtles and other species. Ash trees in Iowa, which were planted to replace Dutch elms that were cut down due to disease, are now dying one after another. Young people are struggling in the gig economy, plagued with student loan and trust fund guilt, and fantasizing about law school. For Goran, money “falls down in big bundles from parents and grandparents like dust and snow.” For Fatima, it is “like an animal, changeable and anxious, quick to flee or bite.”

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