A Wound Is Objective: A Conversation with Édouard Louis

By Stephen Patrick BellMarch 3, 2024

A Wound Is Objective: A Conversation with Édouard Louis

Change by Édouard Louis

ÉDOUARD LOUIS established himself as a major voice in French literature with his acclaimed debut novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (2014), translated into English as The End of Eddy (2017). His first novel follows a gay youth in the north of France, the eponymous Eddy, through an impoverished childhood marked by daily abuses and indignities he was desperate to escape. In Louis’s latest novel, Change (published in 2021 in France and now available in an English translation by John Lambert), Eddy escapes first to Amiens, then to Paris, where his desperate need to assimilate compels him to shed every reminder of his working-class origins. Even his own Americanized name, Eddy, connotes poverty in France. So, Eddy transforms himself into Édouard Louis.

Change is a brilliant novel that, like its narrator, engages in the impossible task of trying to be two things at once—it even opens with two prologues. Though a work of fiction, Louis hand- stitches created scenes with memoiristic passages, even including actual photographs, all while reminding the reader that the author is revising his own past.

I spoke to Louis on Zoom shortly after the UK debut of Change, the end of my Chicago morning bridged to the beginning of his Paris evening. Like his protagonist, Louis is a reader. His shelves are packed with books and his speech full of references to the authors he mentions throughout our conversation. He tells me, “I’m sorry, I’m someone who quotes a lot of other people because I hate to be alone. I always have to be with other people in my mind.”

Édouard the character is defined by a desperate need to acquire more of the knowledge and status that will widen the gap between his new self and the people of his volatile past. The Édouard who appears on my screen, however, seems more secure and at ease, his frame electrified by thoughts about the presentation of self, the challenges of discovering pain where others do not see it, and a lively discourse on the politics of dinner.


STEPHEN PATRICK BELL: Have you been happy with your interviews for this book?

ÉDOUARD LOUIS: Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. But there are always good ways of trying to explain things and trying to make things more explicit. I think that’s a very important aspect of literature. For so long, and still today in many ways, one of the pillars of the ideology of what literature is and what it should be is the implicit. This ideology often comes back to the understanding that the less you say about the world, the more literary you are, and the more aesthetic value your work is granted. You can read it in the diary of André Gide, for example. When he’s writing his diaries, writing his novels, he says, “Be careful not to be too explicit.” Very often in reviews, you read things like, “it’s beautiful, because nothing is said,” and “everything is just suggested.” And that is considered a compliment.

Of course, when talking about an ideology of literature, it’s complex, because there is no bible for literature. There are no rules, and you don’t receive a guidebook. But you feel it. It’s like gender norms. Nothing is written in the street telling you that you should act like this to be a man, and act like this to be a woman. But you feel it every day. In a way, the norms of literature work a little bit like gender: they are a reminder that there are certain kinds of stuff that you should do, and certain things that you should not do. One of the pillars of literature is this idea of the implicit. My literature and what I’m trying to do with it are at war with this old-fashioned ideology.

I believe that there is a way of making the hyper-explicit into poetry, into beauty, into sensations. Of course, the implicit can be beautiful. That’s why we have Emily Dickinson; that’s why we have poetry; that’s why we have so many incredible things. But the implicit doesn’t have a monopoly on beauty. And the explicit can also be a path to beauty. I believe some writers are trying to do it more now. Claudia Rankine writes about Serena Williams in Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), and she creates beauty out of the hyper-explicit situation of a tennis player being bullied because she’s a Black woman. This is hyper-explicit, and this is hyper-beauty.

There is a kind of revolution happening from certain points of the literary field, and I believe that interviews are a part of that, part of a possibility to say things without hiding. So many writers have been saying for so long, “Oh, I don’t like to do interviews because I have nothing to say about my work. It’s already here in my work.” This is just an extension of this ideology of the the implicit, and I believe it’s an old-fashioned thing that we can try to undo and try to create new ways of beauty. For me, an interview is an opportunity for that.

Did you have any conversations with your translators about this desire to be more explicit?

Once I finish a book, it doesn’t belong to me anymore. I don’t want to deal with it anymore. It disgusts me. I hope and I try to make my books a certain source of inspiration for certain people or a weapon for fighting for certain people, but not something that belongs to me. I have this dream that someone could use it for one reason or another. So, even if I speak English a little bit, I don’t read the translations. I speak Spanish also, and I don’t read the translation. Of course, I talk with the translators if they want to talk, and I pay attention to the translator to be sure that it’s someone that would understand what I want to say, but as soon as I get this feeling of trust, I let it go. And I try to move on to the next battle.

How does a translator earn your trust, then?

They have to be left-wing [laughs], which to me means more clever. You know, it’s a beautiful idea from Marguerite Duras. She said that the difference between right-wing and left-wing people is not a difference of opinion, it’s a difference of intelligence and cleverness. If you are a conservative person and you are not able to understand the structural aspect of violence, the systemic aspect of class violence, of racism, and all the things that the Left teaches you, it’s not a difference of opinion—it means you understand the world less than others. If, like so many right-wing people, you think that everything is possible if you fight for it, this kind of old-fashioned idea, then you understand the world less than others. So, it’s not just a different perspective; it’s a lack of understanding.

I was curious about the inclusion of photographs in the book. What made you decide to use them in this one?

The idea started with two things. First, a fascination that I have for W. G. Sebald, the German writer who wrote Austerlitz (2001). He would put photographs in his books and it created an effect of truth. That was, for me, one more tool to make literature something inescapable by adding another dimension.

Also, it started as a casual situation because I wrote my first book, The End of Eddy, and then History of Violence (2016) and Who Killed My Father (2018), and my best friend, who is also a writer, read my books, and I was talking a lot about my family to him. Of course, he never questioned what I was saying in my books because he’s my friend. It was obvious for him. One day, I showed him a picture of my childhood home that I put in Change, and he couldn’t believe it. He told me, “I didn’t imagine it was that bad.” I told him, I said in the book that there were holes in the walls, and that it was raining inside the house, and he said, “Yes, but I thought you were exaggerating.” I thought, even my best friend, even for him, the picture gives something else that the text alone cannot give. Of course, the text gives things that a photograph cannot give, but why not—if we have the chance—use them together? So, I wanted to get to include them. There is a pact of truth in photography, even if people can manipulate them. That’s why it’s dangerous.

There is this essence of confrontation with photographs. And I thought, I want that in my book, because it will make it more confrontational.

Food—the consumption and rituals of it—is an early vector for the character Édouard’s upward mobility. Mealtimes tend to put him on display but also afford him an opportunity to observe his peers as they observe him. I’d like to ask both Édouard the character and the author: what’s for dinner?

You want to take me out to dinner?

You know, one of the books that completely changed the analysis of social classes in the 20th century is Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (1979). It’s probably the most important book about social classes since the works of Karl Marx. For sociologists all around the world, it completely flipped the script on the old analysis of what social classes are. And the fact is that, for most of the book, Pierre Bourdieu is focusing on the meals people are eating, because it’s one of the biggest indicators of class distinction and class inequality.

I really felt that connection between eating and class in my own trajectory. Change, out of all the books that I wrote, is the book with the simplest plot. It’s a gay kid, which I was, who was bullied at school—people were calling me faggot, people were spitting on me, telling me no one wanted to play with me. People didn’t want to engage with me because to be friends with the faggot was as much shame as to be a faggot. And this child that I used to be promised himself, something that I didn’t explore in The End of Eddy, that “one day, I will achieve things and those people who spit on me, they will regret what they have done to me. They will realize that I was not this piece of nothing that they wanted me to be, that I was not this nothingness that they wanted me to be, and they will regret, and they will say, gasp, he was something.”

When I think about it now, it’s very strange because I was 11 or 12. It’s too much for a child to think this. You would think I was playing with my friends, or watching TV. That’s what you would think. At 11, you shouldn’t make this project of what your life, of what your future, will be. But it was my obsession. I remember this very moment when they were spitting on me, I was thinking this: I will be something someday; one day, I will do something.

This is what began as a starting point of this escape from my working-class family and from my working-class childhood. I was not more free than the others, as I often say. I was not more clever than the others. I was not more sensitive than the others. People very often put it this way when they talk about outsiders. With children, there is the story of one who is so special, in a community where people are not special, and someday this kid will break out and do something great. This has always been a very violent way of putting things. As if the outsiders are special and the people around them are not. As if my sister were stupid and deserves to be a working-class woman, and to suffer. As if my brother, who died last year—he was 38 years old, he was drinking alcohol and had miserable jobs—deserved it. He was a prisoner of his life, and he died at 38 years old. It’s not because he was not sensitive or because he was less special than me; it was because he was prisoner of something that was greater than him.

But me, I was less free than the others. I didn’t have an opportunity except to escape. People were pushing me outside, like those guys picking on me. From then on, I started this odyssey of escape. Throughout this whole odyssey, I discovered how to write Change, like a map of the social world with the working class, with the middle class, with the Parisian bourgeoisie, with the Parisian aristocracy, because this child I used to be, whom other people would spit on, he wanted to leave as fast as possible from his childhood. I couldn’t stop running and running and running and running. And even engaging with people I hated, even submitting myself to the rules of the bourgeoisie that I hated on so many levels, I was not free, I had to run away.

And clearly, part of this class distinction that I experienced through my body is this relationship to what eating is. That’s what I tried to describe in the book, what it is to be working-class. When I was a child, we would eat very quickly watching TV. We would comment about what we were eating, “Oh, it’s good. Oh, I’m full. I cannot move anymore because I’m so full.” And one day when I crashed into the bourgeoisie, because I was suddenly studying philosophy in the big city in the north of France, then in Paris, I discovered that all the rules were the opposite. So, when you eat, you should not talk about what you’re eating, because it would be vulgar to comment about your body. You have to kind of deny the existence of the body. So, in the bourgeoisie, to eat means to create a ceremony to make some beautiful table, to kind of deny the fact that you are fulfilling a physiological function of your body. When I was a child, my father would say it was impolite to talk while having a meal. He would say, “We have to watch TV and that’s what it is to be polite.” And in the bourgeoisie, it was the opposite. The meal was a moment when you talk about your day, you ask your child how it was at school and everything.

Through this situation of a meal, I understood that everything I was in my childhood and everything I had learned from my childhood was illegitimate, and that I would I have to reinvent everything. I was judged and I was despised if I followed the rules of my childhood at a table in Paris. At the end of a meal, my father would touch his belly and say, “Oh my god, that was a lot of food.” If I would do that with the people I was studying with, they would mock me. Suddenly, I discovered social shame. I discovered class shame. What I tried to say in the book—and sorry for this very long answer—but the thing I tried to describe in the book is that, at this moment, I couldn’t resist the shame. This book is a story of complete surrender to what the bourgeoisie was asking me to be. You know, I wouldn’t question anything, I would do everything because I wanted to survive, I wanted to be accepted. I didn’t want to die like my brother. So, it was a matter of life and death.

You mentioned this notion of memory, looking back into childhood and learning what lessons you were absorbing then and how they didn’t match with what you learned later. Édouard mentions having done quite a bit of memory work. What amount of memory work went into this novel? Do you feel like writing is a form of therapy?

The thing is, I don’t see writing as therapy at all, because most of the time, it makes me feel more bad. I see writing more as a political process; that’s what makes me feel better. I mean political in the large sense, like a collective activity, engaging in the field of change, trying to change people’s reality, change what is around me. There are two answers to what you say. Firstly, it cannot be therapy because I’m precisely doing the opposite. When I’m writing, I’m trying to find the pain that I didn’t necessarily experience as a child. This is, for me, what writing means. It means trying to find the pain where other people don’t see it. One of the tragedies of society and one of the violences of society is that so many people are suffering in extremely violent situations, and they don’t see this violence as violence because for them it’s just normal, because it was always this way. Now when I think about my past, and when I see the poverty in which people were living, the pain that my father was living, the amount of dispossession … I realized after, when I cracked open the privileged classes and I saw everything they had, I saw in comparison everything we did not have.

But my parents, my sisters and brothers, they did not see the difference. They don’t know everything that society is taking away from them, they don’t even realize. That’s something I already said in the book about my father, Who Killed My Father. The thing is that this violence that people were suffering, like the violence my father endured as a working-class man going to the factory, was the life of his father, was the life of his neighbors, was the life of so many people in working-class Northern France when I was growing up. So in the end, it was not even perceived as violent anymore. It was just normal; it was just life. The task of the writer is to dig up the pain, where people cannot see it anymore, or they see it, but in a very blurred and imprecise way.

I don’t know if you’ve read the masterpiece from Jamaica Kincaid called Mr Potter (2002); it’s about her father. Her father was this working-class man, in Antigua, in the Caribbean. He didn’t know that his life was the result of the ugliness of the world. She repeated several times in the book: this man walking down the street did not know that his life was a result of the ugliness of the world. So, my task is to try—at least to try—to find this violence. When I write, there are so many pains that suddenly appear that I didn’t have before, that I would not have if I was not writing. So, that would be the first aspect of the answer.

The second aspect related to what you say in your question—it’s also true that, in writing Change, I saw some more beautiful aspects of my childhood that I was not able to see earlier in my life. Precisely what I’m trying to recount is the story of this working-class kid who tried everything possible to escape and was suddenly confronted with more privileged classes. Those privileged classes taught me to despise everything from my childhood. They taught me to despise it. I was powerless because I was a teenager, because I had nothing, because I was limited intellectually, because I didn’t have experience, because I was alone. When I’m writing now, what I’m trying to do is create a kind of odyssey of getting back things from my past that I didn’t have access to right after escaping.

That doesn’t mean to create a fantasy of the working class; the working class in my childhood was also very, very difficult. You know, it was extremely homophobic, much more than it is for me now to be a writer. No one spits on me in Paris. It was very difficult. People were voting for the Far Right, you better not be Black or Arab in this village, because 50 percent of the people are voting for the Far Right, it’s official, you can google it, it’s everywhere. My mother, as a woman, was suffering from so much masculine domination. It’s important not to create a mythology of working-class life, which is very often a discourse from the bourgeoisie. But at the same time, you should not take for granted the hatred that the dominant class has for the dominated class. Pierre Bourdieu would call this “complicit adversaries”: they pretend to be against each other, but it’s one structure.

There’s a page in Change that just says, “I’m sorry.” How interesting to see a full-page apology just sort of pop up in the book. Major sections of the book are addressed to two significant figures from your past, and I was wondering if this fame, the seeking of revenge, this attainment of a new position, has that done anything to change your relationships?

It completely changed my relationship to everything—to my past, and to my family, and to the social class of my youth, to my father, to my mother. Everything. I believe that literature is a suspension of judgment. I believe that there is nothing more different from a book of literature than a court of justice; they are the two most opposite things on earth. In a court, you judge, you punish, you make people responsible. In literature, you try to understand—what are the motivations, what are the structures—and you take away responsibility from the people, at least when they are dominated people. But I think these are different treatments when people are socially dominated or socially dominant. But for me, that’s what it meant, and so much of the violence from my childhood, everything I was resenting in my parents, through writing I understood that it was something bigger than them, that it was so many different things … It’s complex! It doesn’t give them a definitive solution, but the structure of class, the structure of masculinity, all of that was creating this extremely violent atmosphere.

Pierre Bourdieu once again, I quote him a lot today, but he says we take everything from the working class: we take money from them, we take access to culture, we take access to so many things from them, and the only thing that is left for working-class people is their body, and not for so long. And so, Bourdieu says we should not be surprised if there is an important ideology of what is the body, what is strength, what is physical domination, and maybe, by extension, masculine domination, homophobia and everything, the cult of the strong body. So when I think of that, I see so many behaviors in my father in a different way. It doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. It doesn’t mean that it was okay for my father to treat me like this. But it means that it has a root. That is different.

So, yes, for me, writing is not to excuse, it is to understand. The first line of Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child (2015) is “It’s not my fault.” That’s the first line, and I remember how important it was for me. “So you can’t blame me,” that’s the second sentence. “I don’t know how it happened.” It’s a story of bodies that were crushed by history. For me, this is the work of literature. I am also sorry, and writing is also being sorry, because the one who escaped is also acting in a violent way when he or she escapes. I didn’t want to spare myself. It was very important to be critical of myself because, in a way, there is no distinction between me and the character-narrator when my work is autobiographical. It’s important to put me at the level of the other characters of the book, which means to analyze me as much as I analyze the others, and try to understand how much violence you conduct when you are escaping. You escape your past because you feel that people around you are tough or difficult, but it makes you violent.

I remember so many moments of my childhood—for example, I would return from school, I would sit on the sofa at home, and I would open Le Monde or a book that I was not even reading just to show to my parents: “Now I belong to the kind of people that read these kinds of things. And I’m better than you. And all my childhood, you told me that I was a faggot, that I was not acting like a real man. But look, now I do the things that you cannot do.” And when I think about it now, I’m paralyzed by this violence. I see myself sitting on the sofa with Le Monde, not even reading it, just to get a kind of revenge on my family. The book really tries to capture and to understand this circulation of violence.

Bodily freedom is something that comes up quite a bit throughout the book. Throughout Change, bodies are defined by their relation to other things in the world. In addition to placing in the prologue a scene centered on sex in exchange for money, you also imply that there’s sex in exchange for things like housing or meals. How do you feel about Édouard’s social desire being attached to sexual desire, and whom may that exclude?

This book is describing something that is a pattern that often repeats in gay life. Sexual encounters as a gay person lead you to meet other kinds of people, people with different backgrounds, and that certainly can give you a glimpse into other worlds and other lives, you know. This is what you’ll find in the books of Alan Hollinghurst and Christopher Isherwood. You find it even in Marcel Proust: the aristocrat desires sex with working-class guys because he thinks they are more masculine. So, we know that sociologically there are more opportunities for crisscrossing in the gay community than there are in the straight community because the gay community is smaller, because I believe that gay people are in general more generous, even if they are not, of course, exempt from class structures. I describe it in the book, that classism—people were making fun of my teeth because they were rotten, and like working-class kids, people were telling me, “Why do you have such a ridiculous name?” because I was called Eddy, and to have an American name is very working-class in France. So, of course, it’s not—it’s not pure, or it’s not heaven. Nothing is heaven. Ever.

But compared to the rest of the world, the gay world was a much more welcoming world for me. When I was doing sex work, people were in general better with me than the rest of the people. So, my book is also a tribute to the gay community.

What you were saying about the body, I think is very interesting because for me the body matters because the body is indisputable. It’s linked to your first question and what we were saying about literature and what literature can say and what literature cannot say, what literature can do and what literature cannot do. Since I’ve heard about literature, I’ve heard this idea that literature was a place of subjectivity, of a certain sensitivity, of a certain way of looking at the world contrary to sociology, contrary to science. I’ve always heard literature is a matter of the soul of an artist, the sensitivity of an artist.

If we think politically, I wonder if this old-fashioned ideology of what literature is is a way of making literature less confrontational. If you say literature is just a point of view from the soul of an artist, from his pure sensitivity, then no matter what you read about in a book, like class violence or masculine domination, or anything, then you don’t fully engage with it, because you say, “It’s his point of view, we could say things differently,” and in a way it makes literature a coward. It becomes a kind of choreography for the bourgeoisie to escape this world. A way of turning their head, like when you see a homeless person and you turn your head. “Oh, Toni Morrison talks about slavery, but it’s her point of view, her soul is talking, it’s her inner voice.” Of course, I’m exaggerating for effect, but still, there is this idea that is very ingrained. So for me, putting the body at the center of literature is a way of challenging this. The pain of a body or the destruction of a body is not a question of point of view. A wound is objective. So, if you put objective facts, facts like bodies, at the core of literature, you can make it more confrontational.

It’s just a small anecdote, but when I published the book about my father, Who Killed My Father, I was trying to describe how much French policies from the governments of the last 20 years impacted my father’s body. How when they reduced the welfare, when they cut the reimbursement of the medication and everything, it impacted my father. So, when people say that the personal is political, I was trying to prove the contrary; I was trying to show that the political is personal, intimate.

I remember when I published the book, there was a politician, someone like a minister from Sarkozy, who went on the radio to attack me, and to attack my book. He said something very interesting. He said it to attack me, but actually, I loved it. He said, “Édouard Louis blackmails us because he talks about the body of his father, and then we cannot answer to him because it’s the body of his father. And so, we are prisoner and we cannot answer.” I was thinking, yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I don’t want you to lie; I don’t want to give you an opportunity to argue when you reduce welfare. People are angry. They have less money to eat. I don’t want you to come up with your stupid lies and ideologies, about the importance of making people poor: that it will make them feel better, or that it will make them stronger, or that the state cannot pay anymore when at the same time you are cutting taxes for the richest in France—something they have been doing the last couple of years. So, the body is something that confronts people more, because you cannot use this life jacket, which is the ideology of literature, which helps you to say, “Oh, but it’s just his point of view.” And so that’s why I’m always trying to put the body at the core of what I’m writing, because I don’t want people to escape. I want people to face what I’m trying to show.

I was thinking a lot of Erving Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1956) and how his theories of masking mechanisms map well onto Édouard the character’s behavior throughout the novel. He gradually adopts new public-facing personas and operates as though the past self is something that you can flee, rather than something that one is forced to carry and build on as we move through life. How much do you trust Édouard considering his propensity for self-deception, contradiction, and uncertainty? And how much would you expect a reader to trust everything that he’s saying?

Contradiction is part of truth and of what we are. So, I believe that people can trust something contradictory because their lives and their minds are also contradictory. The truth is those contradictions are all true. That’s the beauty of contradiction.

Like I say at the end of my book, I hated my childhood, but I miss it. It’s a complete contradiction [laughs]. It’s a problem. But in a way, each side of the contradiction doesn’t cancel the other part. In fact, I am very moved that you say it, because really, it was different things that I was trying to catch in Change than in The End of Eddy or all the other books.

Also, what you were saying about Goffman, and I’m sorry, I have to talk about Goffman because it’s probably the first time someone asked about him in an interview and it makes me far too happy and excited. I adore Goffman and people don’t often read his work outside of academia. It’s a shame because it’s so moving. There is something very Goffmanian in my book. And in fact, you are the first person to mention it. But I was reading and rereading him because I was studying sociology in university. There is something very emancipatory in the work of Goffman, which is to say that our lives are, in a way, performances. We perform all the time even when we are not aware of it; we are presenting ourselves to the other perpetually and constantly. This is related to class in another way because, in Change, I was saying that escaping from the working class, and suddenly studying and suddenly being exposed to other classes and other milieux, I wanted to change myself, to be someone else.

I remember that the people from the bourgeoisie who were around me were telling me, “Oh, but it’s not you, it’s not authentic, you are not that.” They were always telling me, “You’re imitating us. Five years ago, when we knew you, you didn’t have teeth, and you were only watching reality TV, and now you have teeth and you read literature. You are not authentic anymore.” Authenticity was a strange political tool in order to keep me where I was.

The most important and most interesting part of that is, yes, I was imitating them because I wanted to escape, but they were imitating their parents. They were imitating their class. They were not born knowing about Wagner. They were not born knowing about Proust. They imitated it from their milieu. So, the difference between me and them was not who is authentic and who is imitating, but rather who gets the right to imitate. Who is the legitimate imitator? That’s how our world and our societies function. People pretend that there is like a kind of binary between authenticity and imitation, but that’s not true. It’s legitimate imitators versus illegitimate imitators. This is part of class violence. Because of where I come from, I was not a legitimate imitator.

My book is a manifesto for a radical authenticity, which is an authenticity that we build, and not an authenticity that is imposed on us. And very strangely, people very often see authenticity as the sum of all the things that you did not choose. They will see authenticity as your childhood, your father, your blah blah, or where you were at 10 years old. But for me, radical authenticity is the authenticity that you build, and you choose, which means you can keep things from your childhood, you can keep things, if you want, from your dad. You can, but you don’t have to. It’s the things that you take and that you build. But that notion of radical authenticity is at war with the society in which we live, which will always try to destroy the people that they consider illegitimate imitators or illegitimate performers or illegitimate becomers, the people becoming something else. And that’s where I wanted the book to be radical.


Édouard Louis is the author of The End of Eddy (2014), History of Violence (2016), Who Killed My Father (2018), and A Woman’s Battles and Transformations (2021), and the editor of a book on the social scientist Pierre Bourdieu. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Freeman’s. His books have been translated into 30 languages and have made him one of the most celebrated writers of his generation worldwide. He lives in Paris.

LARB Contributor

Stephen Patrick Bell (he/him) is a writer raised in New York by Jamaican immigrants, currently based in Chicago, where he produced the Moth StorySLAM. A 2022 Lambda Literary Fellow in fiction and a summer 2023 Tin House fellow, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Interview Magazine, The Rumpus, the Chicago Review of Books, the Lambda Literary Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a novel.


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