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'Handling The Things We Can't Control': Brandon Taylor On New Collection Filthy Animals

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Following up on his Booker Prize-shortlisted debut novel, writer Brandon Taylor paints characters that are uneasy, often pained and ultimately thrilled to be caught in one another's lives.

In his new short story collection, “Filthy Animals,” Brandon Taylor covers a lot of territory. His characters explore sexuality, relationships, the nature of love, depression, loneliness, destructive societal norms and so much more.

When "Real Life" came out in February 2020, the world shut down shortly thereafter. With this new collection, Taylor's world is opening up. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Taylor about where this new book came from and where he's going with it.

"Those stories talk about mental, you know, mental health and struggles with (suicidal) ideation and things like that. It is difficult, but it also feels very empowering and it feels really wonderful to get to share this character," Taylor said. "So much of his journey being so close to my own personally, it feels really good to be able to share that with people and I'm looking forward to readers meeting him."


  • Brandon Taylor, writer

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa