Real Life begins when Wallace, a graduate student at a predominantly white Midwestern University, decides to join his friends for an outing at the lake. Hyperobservant, intelligent, and depressed, Wallace has entered academia to earn a PhD in biochemistry—and to erase his past as a queer, black child in the rural south. Instead, over the course of a weekend, Wallace’s life unravels with the urgency and horror of a social thriller. Told with precision and nuance, Real Life,portrays the looming forces of racism and academic isolation alongside the sharpness of hidden personal trauma.
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