Justin Torres

Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Unbound: Justin Torres and Holly Goddard Jones on 'Nightclub Jitters'

In each episode of Unbound, we hear stories from two different authors on a theme. Today’s episode is about nightlife—the soft glow of the jukebox, the clink of ice in a glass, the promise of romance and the threat of loneliness around every corner.

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Arts and Humanities
4:11 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Justin Torres to Read from Acclaimed Debut Novel

Gregory Crowley

Updated: Tonight's reading at 21C has been canceled due to Hurricane Sandy-related flight cancelations. Sarabande Books is working on rescheduling the event for 2013.

Justin Torres' surprising and haunting debut novel "We the Animals" introduces us to three near-feral brothers and their young parents, a white mother and Puerto Rican father from Brooklyn who marry when the mother is only 14 and pregnant with the oldest boy. They move to a small town in upstate New York, where they are outsiders even among the other poor families, and struggle against the limitations of their poverty, lack of education and youth.

“They’re these city kids, this mixed-race couple, in this tiny little town,” says Torres. “There aren’t many supporting characters in this book. There are the boys, and there’s Ma and Paps, and it’s very essential in that way. I wanted it to be, to emphasize the claustrophobia of the family, how much they rely on each other and how much they can’t escape each other.”

(Read an excerpt of "We the Animals.")

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Arts and Humanities
4:03 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Excerpt: 'We the Animals' by Justin Torres

"We the Animals," by Justin Torres

Excerpt from Justin Torres' new novel, We the Animals.

"Never-Never Time"

We all three sat at the kitchen table in our raincoats, and Joel smashed tomatoes with a small rubber mallet. We had seen it on TV: a man with an untamed mustache and a mallet slaughtering vegetables, and people in clear plastic ponchos soaking up the mess, having the time of their lives. We aimed to smile like that. We felt the pop and smack of tomato guts exploding; the guts dripped down the walls and landed on our cheeks and foreheads and congealed in our hair. When we ran out of to­matoes, we went into the bathroom and pulled out tubes of our mother’s lotions from under the sink. We took off our raincoats and positioned ourselves so that when the mallet slammed down and forced out the white cream, it would get everywhere, the creases of our shut-tight eyes and the folds of our ears.

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