Another Word for Love
Tell Me Who You Are

In Tongues

9780374608187 fc
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2024
Releases 05/21/24

Thomas Grattan

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A young gay man upends the lives of a powerful art-world couple in this steamy novel of self-discovery.

It’s 2001, and twenty-four-year-old Gordon—handsome, sensitive, and eager for direction—takes a bus from Minnesota to New York City because it’s the only place for a young gay man to go. As he begins to settle into the city’s punishing rhythm, he gets a job walking rich Manhattanites’ dogs. But it isn’t until he stumbles into the West Village brownstone of two of his clients, the powerful gallery owners Phillip and Nicola, that Gordon learns how much the world has hidden from him—and what he’s capable of doing in order to get it for himself.

A lush, heart-quickening novel about family and art, sex and class, and the terror of self-discovery, Thomas Grattan’s In Tongues chronicles Gordon’s perilous pursuit of belonging from the Midwest to New York and, later, to Europe and Mexico City. As he floats further into Phillip and Nicola’s exclusive universe, and as lines blur between employee, muse, lover, and mentor, Gordon’s charm, manipulation, and growing ambition begin to escape his own control, in turn threatening to unravel the lives, and lies, of those around him.

Anchored by winsome lyricism, glinting intellect, and a main character whose yearnings and mistakes come to feel like our own, In Tongues crackles with fierce longing and pointed emotion, further confirming Grattan as a rare chronicler of young adulthood’s joys and devastations.

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  • "Funny, touching, and authentic, In Tongues is about trying to survive in a declining society, a novel that should become the touchstone of a whole generation."

     —Edmund White

  • "Thomas Grattan is a master of plot—that rare ability—which makes In Tongues a real roller coaster: funny, sad, shocking, and, finally, quite moving."

    —Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance and The Kingdom of Sand

  • “Uncommonly vulnerable, In Tongues is a witty exposition of what ails all of us. Thomas Grattan does away with any false neutrality by detailing the raunchy violence of ambition. This is an excellent novel that sifts through the detritus of life and gives it vibrant meaning.” 

    —Zain Khalid, author of Brother Alive

  • "In Tongues contains one of my favorite kinds of plots; the interlude that changed me forever. Thomas Grattan masterfully elucidates the life of an elegant hero--shattering friendships, sudden lovers, surprising moments of grace. Reading In Tongues felt like a deliciously banal and dangerous afternoon I never wanted to end. I love this beautiful, horny, honest, glamorous novel."

    —Marie-Helene Bertino, author of Beautyland

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