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Justin Torres Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Currency Books

Me and Carlos (By: Tom Perrotta) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tomorrow Box (By: Curtis Sittenfeld) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Summer House (By: Cristina Henriquez) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crewelwork (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rewards (By: Emma Cline) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Simplexity (By: Kiley Reid) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Would Be Doing This Anyway (By: Jia Tolentino) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
If You Are Lonely and You Know It (By: Yiyun Li) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
It Occurs to Me That I Am America(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Justin Torres

Justin Torres is celebrated across numerous American literary communities for his distinctive storytelling style and profound depth in theme. Being honored as one of the National Book Foundation’s ‘5 under 35′ in 2012, highlighted him as a rising star with the potential for significant influence in literature. This acknowledgment has propelled him into the spotlight, earning acclaim from critics and achieving widespread commercial success globally.

Torres excels in creating vivid, nuanced characters that mirror the complexities and rich tapestries of real-life experiences, inviting readers to see reflections of their own lives within his narratives. Through exploring themes of family dynamics, identity, and the human condition, Torres crafts stories that resonate deeply with audiences, binding readers to the emotional arcs of his characters in a truly personal manner.

With a style that merges clarity with richness, Torres engages a wide audience, weaving together relatable life experiences with broader, meaningful themes. This approach not only captivates readers but also encourages them to reflect, offering narratives that are both accessible and provocatively insightful. Torres’s ability to balance entertainment with depth showcases his unique position in the field of American fiction. Combining many different styles and ideas incorporating them into his stories, he’s found an approach that is very much his own, setting him apart from other writers in his field.

In crafting stories that engage and provoke, Justin Torres has proven his adeptness at storytelling that both entertains and enlightens. His contributions to American literature are marked by an ability to explore the complexities of life with empathy and insight, securing his place as a critical voice in contemporary narrative arts.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1980 in upstate New York, Justin Torres embraced storytelling from a young age, a fervor that flourished over the years. His varied experiences, from working as a farmhand and dog-walker to teaching creative writing and selling books, enriched his life with valuable insights. These moments, along with the influences from his early environment, ignited his creative spark, defining his distinct narrative voice.

Torres’s entry into the realm of professional writing saw his pieces featured in eminent outlets such as The New Yorker and Granta, demonstrating his knack for engaging readers. His time at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop was a pivotal period of skill refinement, laying the groundwork for narratives that would later be celebrated, earning him awards like the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature.

Currently, as a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Torres is recognized as an influential voice in American literature. His journey from an imaginative youth in New York to an acclaimed author highlights his development and dedication. Torres’s ability to create compelling characters and stories not only continues to captivate readers worldwide but also showcases the impact of determination and enthusiasm on a writer’s career.

Writing Career

Justin Torres has established himself in the literary world, contributing to esteemed outlets like The New Yorker, Tin House, Granta, and Glimmer Train. His storytelling prowess, evident in these publications, showcases his keen insight into human emotions and relationships. Through this work, Torres has crafted a notable presence, earning recognition for his narrative depth and emotional intelligence.

Starting with ‘We the Animals’ in 2011, Torres debuted as a novelist, offering a penetrating look at family and identity. His portfolio expanded with ‘Blackouts’ in 2023, further showcasing his ability to capture complex themes with clarity and compassion. Additionally, his work on ‘Crewelwork’ in 2021 for the ‘Currency’ series highlights his versatility and creativity in storytelling.

As his journey in writing continues, Torres’s contributions so far promise even more compelling narratives ahead.

We the Animals

Justin Torres’s coming-of-age novella, ‘We the Animals,’ was published on August 30, 2011, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The novella was recognized with the 2012 Cabell First Novelist Award and was a nominee for the 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction and The Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Heralding Torres as a writer to watch in the years to come, this debut had a huge impact upon its initial release.

Three brothers navigate their childhood with unbridled energy, engaging in rowdy activities like covering each other in tomato guts, crafting kites from scraps, and finding solace in each other as their parents clash and their mother recovers from night shifts. Their parents’ intense and tumultuous love, rooted in their diverse backgrounds from Brooklyn—with Paps being Puerto Rican and Ma white—both fortifies and fractures their family repeatedly.

Amidst the chaos and tender moments, the boys experience the profound connection and devastating disconnection within their familial bond.

This novel beautifully explores the journey of growing up, capturing the essence of both the deep sense of belonging and the stark feeling of alienation through its powerful and innovative storytelling.


Justin Torres’s historical novel ‘Blackouts’ was published on October 10, 2023, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The novel was distinguished with the National Book Award for Fiction in 2023. Additionally, it was recognized as a nominee for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction in the same year, marking it as a success with both critics and the general public alike.

In a desolate desert at a place known as the Palace, a young man cares for a dying individual who, although briefly met, has persistently lingered in his life. This individual, Juan Gay—a vibrant storyteller and a figure of both loss and protection—intends to pass on a project rooted in the historical text ‘Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns,’ which documents early twentieth century queer narratives gathered by the researcher Jan Gay, whose contributions were later obscured.

As Juan Gay approaches his final moments, he exchanges tales of love, loss, and forgotten figures with the narrator, bridging the gaps between the past, present, and future through shared memories.

The book is a fictional exploration that challenges historical and narrative conventions, inspired by various sources including ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ and ‘Pedro Páramo,’ and urges a thoughtful examination of the shadows and truths of our constructed world.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Justin Torres

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