Blackouts by Justin Torres
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction 2023
Best Books of 2023 - Guardian
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 AnimalsJuan 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.
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
"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
"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
Imprint: Granta Books
Publication Date: 2/11/23