At Certain Points We Touch (Hardcover)

At Certain Points We Touch By Lauren John Joseph Cover Image
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"SEARING"-Harper's Bazaar

From an electrifying new voice, a "stone-cold masterpiece" (Olivia Laing) of queer friendship, first love, and unbridled youth.

It's four in the morning, and our narrator is walking home from the club when they realize the date is February 29th-the birthday of the man who was something like their first love. Piecing together art, letters, and memory, they set about trying to write the story of a doomed affair that first sparked and burned a decade ago.

Ten years earlier, our young narrator and a boy named Thomas James fall into bed with one another over the summer of their graduation. Their ensuing affair, with its violent, animal intensity and its intoxicating and toxic power plays initiates a dance of repulsion and attraction that will cross years, span continents, drag in countless victims-and culminate in terrible betrayal.

At Certain Points We Touch is a story of first love and last rites, conjured against a vivid backdrop of London, San Francisco, and New York-a riotous, razor-sharp coming-of-age story that marks the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.

About the Author

Lauren John Joseph was born in Liverpool and lives in London. They write for the page, the stage, and the screen. Their film and performance work has been shown internationally across the UK, US, Europe, and Asia. They are the author of the plays Boy in a Dress and A Generous Lover, as well as the experimental prose volume Everything Must Go. This is their first novel.

Praise For…

“Lauren John Joseph's vivid debut novel has a live current running through its pages... An impressive debut with lines that linger with on the page.” —Esquire, "The Best Books of 2022"

“A queer coming-of-age story told by an unnamed narrator about the first time they fell in love, this stunning debut pulled me in immediately and refused to let go. In attempting to piece together the narrative of a decade-long failed relationship, the narrator lets their audience experience the heady feeling of new love and the slow devastation of losing it. A distinctly singular narrative voice propels this gorgeous novel that's funny, sexy, and bold by turns.” —Buzzfeed, "Best New Books of December"

“Hot, steamy, smart, sexy. All can describe At Certain Points We Touch, which finds the narrator reminiscing about a first love. Lauren John Joseph has their finger on the pulse of what makes readers want to eagerly turn the page as they hang on every sensual word.” —Debutiful, "Can't-Miss Debut Books You Should Read This December"

“This is the story of a destructive love affair played out over years and cities that's going to be an essential read.” —Stylist, "Books You Can't Miss in 2022"

“Joseph honors the stylistic legacy of Kathy Acker, and the Beats before, in a delicious stream of consciousness. The book celebrates the freedom and nonconformity of the narrator's youth, and the enormous capacity for love and tragedy that such a life can hold. This raucous and dazzling debut showcases a bright new voice in fiction.” —Booklist

“With their debut novel, English artist and performer Lauren John Joseph charts out a bildungsroman, a love story and an exploration of grief. It's a bold, poetic interrogation of the questions that sit at the heart of what it means to be human: How do we love one another? How do we find our purpose? How do we grieve?” —Xtra Magazine

“This is fabulous: screamingly funny, scandalously hot, opulent, deep-a devastating torch song of obsession and excess.” —Jeremy Atherton Lin, author of GAY BAR

“Lauren John Joseph writes with such wit, glamour, and style! I haven't read a book that so powerfully evokes what it's like to be a wild young artist among other wild young artists since the Bright Young Things were publishing.” —Torrey Peters, author of DETRANSITION, BABY

“A stone-cold masterpiece, which in its scope, frankness and ambition reminds me of The Line of Beauty, retooled for the 21st century. By turns libidinous, hilarious, melancholy and full of feeling, it reveals Lauren John Joseph as a shocking new talent” —Olivia Laing

“Beautifully written, smart, snappy story of queer love... incredibly funny and moving.” —Juno Roche, author of QUEER SEX

“The struggle to find ones place in the world as an artist and lover, creating self and culture as you go along-At Certain Points We Touch captures this fleeting, dazzling moment with glamour and heart.” —Michelle Tea

“Lauren's debut novel is so exciting. The writing is so fresh, funny and gripping-and carries the trademark wit that I have always loved from Lauren.” —Travis Alabanza

“A smart, sparkling, twisting, millennial queer odyssey... Lithe, perspicacious, melancholic and as funny as hell.” —Attitude

“A moving portrait of youth, friendship and first love.” —The Observer

“A riotous coming-of-age story that marks the arrival of a bold new writer.
” —Sheerluxe

“A queer romance novel like no other... The beating heart of this book is... the author's poetic writing-each page is a pure delight to read. Joseph presents a kaleidoscope of beautiful characters with infectious energy and harsh realities. Their descriptions of love, identity, trauma, sex and death are deeply graphic, tragic and yet tender, and will resonate with any reader.” —Tatler

“This is a masterful novel, sharp and clever, that explores how we tell stories and what millennial queer life is like.” —Fiendfully Reading

“A rich and sensuous read, a coming of age story that is full of life and love that reminded me of The Line of Beauty. Tender and dark in turn, it brings the art world at its heart and its cast list of bright young things brilliantly to life.” —Living Magazine

“A tragic, haunting, and expertly crafted debut.” —Buzz Magazine

“With unique style and flair, Lauren John Joseph weaves a dreamlike coming-of-age tale about toxic relationships, wild young artists, and an unspeakable betrayal.” —Woman's Own

“A rich and sensuous read, a coming of age story that is full of life and love that reminded me of The Line of Beauty. Tender and dark in turn, it brings the art world at its heart and its cast list of bright young things brilliantly to life.” —Living Magazine

At Certain Points We Touch is as much a love letter to the glamour and glory of countercultural nightlife as a self-aware sendup of its absurdities and deprivations. This novel is a rollicking study of the stubbornness, irrationality, and dysfunction of the human heart, with prose as extravagant and daring as a Rococo gown. I would spend as many pages with this narrator as Lauren John Joseph cares to write.” —Kim Fu, author of LESSER KNOWN MONSTERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

“Elegant, sharp, and hysterical, At Certain Points We Touch asks us how do we grieve a lover who may not have been a good person. Lauren John Joseph's writing will pull you in like an alluring perfume, only to seize your heart and tear it to pieces in this spectacular debut!” —Morgan M Page

“Lauren John Joseph lyrically captures the hope, the tumult, and the trauma of relationships. Love's letters have rarely been more savage, poignant, or more true.” —James Bridle, author of WAYS OF BEING

“[At Certain Points We Touch] examines queer loss and survival elegantly, devastatingly, and critically incisive. Lauren John Joseph is a writer to reckon with. I'll read whatever they'll write next.” —Isabel Waidner

“The beating heart of At Certain Points We Touch is the first-person narrator's journey-an epic exploration of the world, the self, and the coming-into-being of an artist… Joseph draws these various worlds and relationships vividly, with heart and humor. But this book is also an excavation of the world we all live in, a depiction of the ways in which love affairs reflect and refract political circumstances and beliefs, and an exploration of how technology has changed and how it has changed us…Lucid and libidinous, At Certain Points We Touch is a tender documentation of a love affair, and of a writer's life.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9781526631305
ISBN-10: 152663130X
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: December 6th, 2022
Pages: 384
Language: English