In Search of Tenderness
In this episode, Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane is in discussion with Brandon Taylor (Real Life) and Paul Mendez (Rainbow Milk) about their gorgeous debut novels, both of which centre young, black queer men who find themselves in alienating environments.
This podcast is brought to you by our sponsor, the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Our producer is Andri Burnett.
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Paul Mendez was born and raised in the Black Country. He now lives in London and is studying for an MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has been a performing member of two theatre companies, and worked as a voice actor, appearing on audiobooks by Andrea Levy, Paul Theroux and Ben Okri, most recently recording Ian Wright’s A Life in Football for Hachette Audio. As a writer, he has contributed to the Times Literary Supplement and the Brixton Review of Books. Rainbow Milk is his debut novel.
Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and has just been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He is the senior editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Lit Hub. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow.
Image credit: Bill Adams
Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane obtained his LLB from Stellenbosch University. After University, he served articles and later become an associate at Bowman Gilfillan Inc. In July 2016, he served as a law clerk for Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. His areas of interest include queer theory, intersectionality and dismantling oppressive systems. He obtained the Sonke/UCLA Health & Human Rights Fellowship in 2017/2018 and completed his Masters in Law specialising Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies. He was named one of the top 200 Young South Africans in 2018. He is a founding member of the Cheeky Natives, a literary podcast primarily focused on the review, curatorship and archiving of black literature.
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