What does it mean to be a body in this world? It’s the question animating Brandon Taylor’s Filthy Animals. Our fleshy bodies and fragile minds complicate our experience of other people and isolate us from one another. As with Real Life, Taylor’s first novel, this short story collection displays his talent for rendering the precise inflection of a relationship while exploring the drama of the body. In ‘Potluck’, Lionel, a gay, black graduate student who has recently tried to commit suicide, meets Sophie and her partner Charles. Always ‘arriving at the moment just as it was ending and everyone was moving on’, Lionel connects with Charles and they sleep together.