Out on 15 February 2024

How I Won A Nobel Prize

Julius Taranto

15 February 2024
453 pages


‘A stunning new talent, announcing itself fully formed’ – Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

Julius Taranto’s wickedly satirical and refreshingly irreverent debut novel, a young physicist follows her mentor to an island research institute that gives safe harbour to ‘cancelled’ artists and scientists

Helen, a graduate student on a quest to save the planet, is one of the best minds of her generation. But when her irreplaceable advisor’s student sex scandal is exposed, she must choose whether to give up on her work or accompany him to RIP, a research institute which grants safe harbour to the disgraced and the deplorable.

As Helen settles into life at the institute alongside her partner Hew, she develops a crush on an older novelist, while he is drawn to an increasingly violent protest movement. As the rift between them deepens, they both face major – and potentially world-altering – choices.

Hilarious, provocative and thought-provoking, How I Won A Nobel Prize approaches our moral confusion in a genuine and fresh way, examining the price we’re willing to pay for progress and what it means, in the end, to be a good person.

Razor sharp . . . bracingly clever . . . a viciously funny page-turner with plenty of surprises up its sleeve
With How I Won A Nobel Prize Julius Taranto achieves the near-impossible: a literary comedy about cancel culture that is neither priggish nor self-satisfiedly transgressive, less about culture wars than the neverending battle of being human. A novel of ideas in the tradition of Norman Rush's Mating, How I Won A Nobel Prize is one of the best new novels I've read in years.