Set over a single weekend, we find Wallace, a postgraduate science student, navigating the claustrophobic world of his Midwestern campus. Feeling constantly on the periphery, Wallace tries to come to terms with his father’s death while embarking on a painfully ambivalent relationship with a fellow student. It becomes clear that he is also navigating the twin exclusions of prejudice – through racism and homophobia, both explicit and implicit – and also the long shadow cast by childhood trauma. Beautifully crafted and at times excruciating to read, this is a campus novel like you’ve never read before.
This stunning novel switches between crumbling houses in Vineland in 1871 and 2016. The dual narratives explore shifting paradigms and the struggles of those who confront them. This a parable for our times that explores our very notion of shelter in a world that increasingly struggles to provide it.