A New York Times Editors Choice
Longlisted for the 2020 Simpson / Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize
One of Vogue.com’s “Best Books of 2020 So Far”
One of Elle’s “Best Books of 2020 So Far”
Named A Most-Anticipated Book by The New York Times, Vogue, The Boston Globe, Salon,
The Millions, Inside Hook, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn
In 1996, the unnamed narrator of Teddy Wayne’s Apartment is attending the MFA writing program at Columbia on his father’s dime and living in an illegal sublet of a rent-stabilized apartment. Feeling guilty about his good fortune, he offers his spare bedroom–rent-free–to Billy, a talented, charismatic classmate from the Midwest eking out a hand-to-mouth existence in Manhattan.
The narrator’s rapport with Billy develops into the friendship he’s never had due to a lifetime of holding people at arm’s length, hovering at the periphery, feeling “fundamentally defective.” But their living arrangement, not to mention their radically different upbringings, breeds tensions neither man could predict. Interrogating the origins of our contemporary political divide and its ties to masculinity and class, Apartment is a gutting portrait of one of New York’s many lost, disconnected souls by a writer with an uncommon aptitude for embodying them.