A sly and humorous portrait of modern relationships and an urban comedy of manners in the vein of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, James Gregor’s Going Dutch finds a struggling gay male graduate student in an unexpected—yet stirring—relationship with his brilliant female classmate.
Exhausted by dead-end forays in the gay dating scene, surrounded constantly by friends but deeply lonely in New York City, and drifting into academic abyss, twenty-something graduate student Richard has plenty of sources of anxiety. But at the forefront is his crippling writer’s block, which threatens daily to derail his graduate funding and leave Richard poor, directionless, and desperately single.
Enter Anne: his brilliant classmate who offers to “help” Richard write his papers in exchange for his company, despite Richard’s fairly obvious sexual orientation. Still, he needs her help, and it doesn’t hurt that Anne has folded Richard into her abundant lifestyle. What begins as an initially transactional relationship blooms gradually into something more complex.
But then a one-swipe-stand with an attractive, successful lawyer named Blake becomes serious, and Richard suddenly finds himself unable to detach from Anne, entangled in her web of privilege, brilliance, and, oddly, her unabashed acceptance of Richard’s flaws. As the two relationships reach points of serious commitment, Richard soon finds himself on a romantic and existential collision course—one that brings about surprising revelations.
Going Dutch is an incisive portrait of relationships in an age of digital romantic abundance, but it’s also a heartfelt and humorous exploration of love and sexuality, and a poignant meditation on the things emotionally ravenous people seek from and do to each other. James Gregor announces himself with levity, and a fresh, exciting voice in his debut.
James Gregor holds an MFA in Fiction from Columbia. He has been a writer in residence at the Villa Lena Foundation in Tuscany and a bookseller at Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris. James was born and grew up in Canada. Going Dutch is his first novel.
“Every once in a while a novel of simply unremitting goodness lands on your front porch and Going Dutch is one of the best of the best. James Gregor is a generous, funny, easy-going natural and this book sheds much light on how we live and love now.”—Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Lake Success and Super Sad True Love Story
"Going Dutch is my favorite kind of novel—smart, insightful, and brimming with sly humor. James Gregor explores the complexity of contemporary life with honesty and welcome cynicism, while still allowing for the possibility of love. This novel left me edified, entertained, and eagerly waiting to see what the author comes up with next."—Stephen McCauley, author ofMy Ex-Life
“In this satisfying, plot-driven, and utterly adult novel about a bisexual love triangle, James Gregor has created a bitter black comedy set in the trenches of dating both on and off-line in 21st century New York City. GoingDutch is trenchant and kind, witty and devastating. As a debut work of fiction it is a knock-out.”—Charlotte Silver, author of BenningtonGirlsAreEasy