We the Animals | Granta

  • Published: 07/03/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847083968
  • 129x20mm
  • 144 pages

We the Animals

Justin Torres

Three brothers tear their way through childhood – smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from rubbish, hiding when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn – he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white. Barely out of childhood themselves, their love is a serious, dangerous thing. Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to forge his own way in the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and incredibly powerful.

A heart-rending coming of age novel - intense, poised and pummelling. Almost pitch-perfect in its nerve-exposed vulnerability

Helen Davies, Sunday Times

Torres's lyrical treatment of transgression can be shocking... [At] times his prose has the intensity of poetry

Peter Carty, Independent

A strobe light of a story, its flash set on slow, producing before our eyes lurid and poetic snapshots... I want more of Torres's haunting, word-torn world

New York Times Book Review

The Author

Justin Torres was born in 1980 and grew up in upstate New York. His work has appeared in Granta, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a recipient of the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature, and is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

More about the author →

Justin Torres on Granta.com

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Justin Torres | Interview

Justin Torres & Jennifer de Leon

‘I wanted to write a book about a family so complicated, so in love, and so flawed, that folks would resist easy categories.’

Fiction | Granta 104


Justin Torres

‘We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.’