The Scientist Social Club recently sat down with Brandon Taylor, the author of Real Life. His critically-acclaimed debut novel follows a graduate student named Wallace through a late-summer weekend in a Midwestern college town. As he copes with the aftermath of a mishap in the lab, Wallace, who is Black, also deals with subtle and not-so-subtle racism and a sense of alienation from his friends and struggles to decide whether he should stay on in his PhD program. We talked with Taylor, himself a former graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about how his own experiences in academia informed the story.

Join The Scientist Social Club to learn about future discussions, including our next book club event on August 20: Pipe Dreams with author Chelsea Wald!