A New York Times Editors Choice
Longlisted for the 2020 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize
In 1996, the unnamed narrator of Apartment is attending the MFA writing program at Columbia on his father's dime and living in an illegal sublet of a rent-stabilized apartment. Feeling guilty about his good fortune, he offers his spare bedroom to Billy, a talented, charismatic classmate from the Midwest eking out a hand-to-mouth existence in Manhattan. The narrator's rapport with Billy develops into the friendship he's never had due to a lifetime of holding people at arm's length, hovering at the periphery, feeling "fundamentally defective." But their living arrangement, not to mention their radically different upbringings, breeds tensions neither man could predict.