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Always Smiling

Paul Mendez: ‘Real Life’, 19 November 2020

Real Life 
by Brandon Taylor.
Daunt, 327 pp., £9.99, July, 978 1 911547 74 7
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... Wallace,​ the protagonist of Brandon Taylor’s first novel, Real Life, is black, gay, overweight and from Alabama. When he moved to an unnamed university town in the Midwest to study for a doctorate in biochemistry, he told himself that he had to be ‘a Midwesterner at heart’ because ‘being in the South and being gay were incompatible … no two parts of a person could be more incompatible ...

Strut like Mutya

Nicole Flattery: Paul Mendez, 22 October 2020

Rainbow Milk 
by Paul Mendez.
Dialogue, 353 pp., £14.99, April, 978 0 349 70059 5
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... of underprivileged teenagers navigating the banlieues of Paris, but it could be straight from Paul Mendez’s first novel, Rainbow Milk, which examines issues of race, class and sexual identity through the prism of millennial culture. About a third of the way through the book, its protagonist, Jesse McCarthy, summons the courage to enter a gay bar by ...

At Auckland Castle

Nicola Jennings: Francisco de Zurbarán, 4 June 2020

... They have hung there since 1756, when the bishop of Durham acquired them from the estate of James Mendez, a Jewish merchant of Portuguese descent. Mendez bought them from William Chapman in 1720, just after the collapse of the South Sea Company, in which Chapman was a shareholder. How and when the paintings arrived in ...

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