The acclaimed author of Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and The Gospel of Anarchy makes his hardcover debut with a piercing collection of short fiction that illuminates our struggle to find love, comfort, and identity.
In a new suite of powerful and incisive stories, Justin Taylor captures the lives of men and women unmoored from their pasts and uncertain of their futures.
A man writes his girlfriend a Dear John letter, gets in his car, and just drives. A widowed insomniac is roused from malaise when an alligator appears in her backyard. A group of college friends try to stay close after graduation, but are drawn away from—and back toward—each other by the choices they make. A boy’s friendship with a pair of identical twins undergoes a strange and tragic evolution over the course of adolescence. A promising academic and her fiancée attempt to finish their dissertations, but struggle with writer’s block, a nasty secret, and their own expert knowledge of Freud.
From an East Village rooftop to a cabin in Tennessee, from the Florida suburbs to Hong Kong, Taylor covers a vast emotional and geographic landscape while ushering us into an abiding intimacy with his characters, Flings is a commanding work of fiction that captures the contemporary search for identity, connection, and a place to call home.
About the Author
Justin Taylor is the author of the story collection Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy. He lives in New York City.
“At the root of Taylor’s fiction is one the great ineffable questions, so simple as to come off almost silly when stated plainly—why are the current state of things one way rather than another? Unanswerable, of course, but this collection cements Taylor’s status as a young writer to follow.”
— Daily Beast
“Infused with pop-culture and literary references alike, Taylor’s profoundly understated and often funny stories establish him as an unequivocal voice for the Internet age.”
“Taylor’s insightful stories illuminate the many ways we fall in love--and out of it--and how romances shape our identity both while they last and long after they conclude.”
— Shelf Awareness
“Justin Taylor somehow makes available to us just how strange we are, here in late-capitalist early 21st-century America. Taylor’s stories chart a path through the truth, and the result is that Flings is urgent, necessary, funny, and amazing. A writer we need to read.”
— Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh
“In this luminous collection of short stories, Taylor takes on the theme of constancy of self amid the ephemeral relationships that make up our lives.These stories, by turns witty and piercing, form an uncommon portrait of the human heart.”
— Publishers Weekly starred review
“I tore through this book with white knuckles and a sense of relief, grateful to finally learn more about the human condition from an author willing to give it to me straight. Taylor is a brilliant writer who can tell it like it is without sacrificing style, humor, or surprise.”
— Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa
“It’s an insane idea, but Taylor pulls it off. . . . [A] beautiful meeting of Don Delillo, Philip Roth and Aaron Cometbus.”
— Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children