From the bestselling author of We the Animals, BLACKOUTS mines lost histories—personal and collective.

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction

Out in the desert in a place called the Palace, a young man tends to a dying soul, someone he once knew briefly, but who has haunted the edges of his life. Juan Gay—playful raconteur, child lost and found and lost, guardian of the institutionalized—has a project to pass along to this new narrator. It is inspired by a true artifact of a book, Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns, which contains stories collected in the early twentieth century from queer subjects by a queer researcher, Jan Gay, whose groundbreaking work was then co-opted by a committee, her name buried. As Juan waits for his end, he and the narrator trade stories—moments of joy and oblivion—and resurrect lost loves, lives, mothers, fathers, minor heroes. The past is with us, beside us, ahead of us; what are we to create from its gaps and erasures?

Justin Torres is the author of Blackouts, which won the 2023 National Book Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Choice Award, the Lambda Literary award, and the Southern California Book Award. A 2024 Guggenheim Fellow, he's also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the New York Public Library's Cullman Center. His first novel, We the Animals, was a national bestseller and adapted into a feature film. He lives in Los Angeles, and is an associate professor of English at UCLA.