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Book Title


A Novel
Author 1
Percival Everett
Thelonious "Monk" Ellison’s writing career has bottomed out: his latest manuscript has been rejected by seventeen publishers, which stings all the more because his previous novels have been "critically acclaimed." He seethes on the sidelines of the literary establishment as he watches the meteoric success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, a first novel by a woman who once visited "some relatives in Harlem for a couple of days." Meanwhile, Monk struggles with real family tragedies—his aged mother is fast succumbing to Alzheimer’s, and he still grapples with the reverberations of his father’s suicide seven years before.

In his rage and despair, Monk dashes off a novel meant to be an indictment of Juanita Mae Jenkins’s bestseller. He doesn’t intend for My Pafology to be published, let alone taken seriously, but it is—under the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh—and soon it becomes the Next Big Thing. How Monk deals with the personal and professional fallout galvanizes this audacious, hysterical, and quietly devastating novel.

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Percival Everett’s blistering satire about race and writing, available again in paperback

About the Author

Percival  Everett
Credit: Michael Avedon
Percival Everett is the author of more than thirty books, most recently JamesDr. No, winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award; The Trees, finalist for the Booker Prize; and Telephone, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
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  • “Few works dismantle liberal pieties about racial politics as deftly and thoroughly as Everett’s Erasure. . . . The aesthetically layered masterpiece offers a scathing critique of American racism even as it dramatizes, through Monk’s extended reflections on the purpose of art, the absurdity of the idea that Black artists must always write about race.”—Meghan O'Rourke, The Atlantic's “Great American Novels”
  • “[A] remarkable novel. . . . [Everett] knows that trying to deny racial classification is hopeless; his awareness charges Erasure with both quixotic idealism and mordant resignation.”—The Wall Street Journal
  • “[Erasure is] hilarious, absurd, profound, and disturbing, in ways that couldn’t be more relevant to today’s nominally post-racial cultural moment.”—Very Short List
  • “An over-the-top masterpiece. . . . Percival’s talent is multifaceted, sparked by a satiric brilliance that could place him alongside Wright and Ellison as he skewers the conventions of racial and political correctness.”—Publishers Weekly
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