Going Dutch

James Gregor. S&S, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0319-4
A sardonic, procrastinating PhD candidate gets close to a classmate and questions his own sexuality in Gregor’s excellent debut. Twenty-nine-year-old Richard Turner, a doctoral student studying medieval Italian literature at a New York City university, must show progress on his thesis to maintain his fellowship and living stipend. But his attention is on OkCupid, Grindr, and the “bookstore employees, painters, urban gardeners” he meets online—dates he takes pleasure in relaying to his best friend, the “socially brilliant” Patrick. After being warned his funding will be revoked if he doesn’t show progress, Richard turns to classmate Anne for help. Anne’s “luminous intelligence” is evident (and intimidating) to everyone, including Richard. After working together and presenting their paper-in-progress at a conference, their halting academic partnership turns romantic. When a nearly forgotten online date resurfaces, Richard must think deeply about what he wants. Filled with pithy secondary characters—such as Richard’s haughty supervisor, Patrick’s mischievous friends, and Anne’s lazy activist roommates—Gregor’s on-the-nose depiction of New York liberal intelligentsia makes for wonderful satire: “That line from Dante came to him. There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery. There is no greater sorrow than to feel like a horny loser in Brooklyn.” This marvelously witty take on dating in New York City and the blurry nature of desire announces Gregor as a fresh, electric new voice. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/10/2019
Release date: 08/20/2019
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-1-982103-20-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-9412-2
Ebook - 978-1-982103-21-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-9414-6
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