An intimate, emotionally rich novel, in which two men - young and old - reckon with queer histories and their place within them, from the critically acclaimed author of We the Animals.
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION An intimate, emotionally rich novel, in which two men - young and old - reckon with queer histories and their place within them, from the critically acclaimed author of We the Animals Juan Gay is on his deathbed. He has decided to spend his last days in The Palace: a monumental, fading institution in the desert, which was an asylum in another lifetime. There, a young man tends to this dying soul - someone who Juan met only once, but who has haunted the edges of his life ever since. As the end approaches, the two trade stories - resurrecting lost loves, lives, mothers and fathers - and their lives are woven, ineluctably, into a broader story of pathology and oppression. Charged with sifting through Juan's belongings, our narrator uncovers a copy of Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns, its pages blacked out, censored, reduced down to poetic dispatches. And, as he sifts through the manuscript, another story is told: that of Jan Gay - a radical, queer anthropologist - whose ground-breaking work was co-opted, and stifled, by the committee she served. Blackouts is a haunting, dreamlike rumination on memory and erasure, blending fact with fiction - drawing from historical records, screenplays, testimony and image - to force us to look again at the world we have inherited and the narratives we have received.
Drawing on documents and images from real-life pioneers, the hugely ambitious Blackouts is an intimate, playful account of an old and a young man talking; but it builds into a rich, poetic reclamation of cultural inheritance -- What to read this autumn: 2023’s biggest new books * The Guardian *
Erotic and beguiling... An intelligent, loving, and genuinely subversive work -- Eleanor Catton
Enigmatic, spine-tingling, imbued with inky atmosphere and radiant disclosures - a book like a magic trick -- Jeremy Atherton Lin
All intelligence and surprises. Ambitious, disarming, full of a kind of daring that winks as it passes-as if David Wojnarowicz rewrote Nabokov's Pale Fire and then left it for years in an abandoned building, just for you -- Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
A master of the urgent, surprising sentence... A narrative that is as much about what is on the page as what has been painstakingly cut away... A stunning achievement of re-creation, imagination and tender, tender care. Read it and feel held -- Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House
I'm crushed out on Justin Torres's writing: charming, sexy, soft, and full of truth. His words cut like Cupid's arrow -- Brontez Purnell, author of 100 Boyfriends
Blackouts is unequivocally brilliant, bold, and structurally inventive. Justin Torres has written a shamelessly vital novel that reminds us all not to give up on ourselves, on one another, or on our stories -- Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana and How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water
I felt deep joy in reading Justin Torres' new novel of queer histories and erasure. Shapeshifting and ambitious, it's super special and speaks to where we are now, through our collective queer past -- Niven Govinden
Wonderful. A dexterous, searing exploration of queer lives that leaves you quietly reeling -- Irenosen Okojie
Dimensions: 216mm x 135mm x 22mm