In Tongues by Thomas Grattan

From Thomas Grattan, the author of The Recent East, comes a hilarious and biting tale about a young gay man from Minneapolis named Gordon who, following a breakup from his boyfriend, Alan, finds himself on a bus bound for New York City. 

Gordon, an adrift yet charming character, rents an attic above a garage in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and lands himself a job stocking shelves at a grocery store across the street. In his free time, he takes endless subway rides and cruises at Prospect Park. One night at a bar, he meets Janice and the two strike up a close friendship. Within a few days, he moves in with her, quits his job at Food Land, and starts work as a dog walker for Manhattan’s elite. 

Among his clients are Phillip and Nicola, an eccentric older couple who own an art gallery. They take a liking to Gordon and offer him full time employment. As their personal assistant, he aids in looking after their properties, planning parties, and taking care of the dogs.

His hosting of an unauthorized party at Phillip and Nicola’s soon leads to his firing, after which Gordon flees to his father’s home where he is forced to confront their complex relationship.

Grattan, an excellent story-teller, has created a protagonist that, despite his self-destructive and often misguided ways, I couldn’t help but want the best for him. This is a wonderful read.

Thomas Grattan by David Horne

Thomas Grattan is the author of the novel The Recent East, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, and named a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. His writing has appeared in several publications, including The New York Times Book Review, One Story, Slice, and The Colorado Review. He has an MFA in Fiction Writing from Brooklyn College and has taught middle school English for more than a decade. He lives in upstate New York.

In Tongues by Thomas Grattan is available for pre-order, releasing in hardcover and e-Book May 21st. Check for a distributor near you. My thanks to FSG / MCD for the advanced copy.

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