I Am Not Sidney Poitier
- Winner of the Believer Book Award
Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award
I was, in life, to be a gambler, a risk-taker, a swashbuckler, a knight. I accepted, then and there, my place in the world. I was a fighter of windmills. I was a chaser of whales. I was Not Sidney Poitier.
Not Sidney Poitier is an amiable young man in an absurd country. The sudden death of his mother orphans him at age eleven, leaving him with an unfortunate name, an uncanny resemblance to the famous actor, and, perhaps more fortunate, a staggering number of shares in the Turner Broadcasting Corporation.
Percival Everett’s hilarious new novel follows Not Sidney’s tumultuous life, as the social hierarchy scrambles to balance his skin color with his fabulous wealth. Maturing under the less-than watchful eye of his adopted foster father, Ted Turner, Not gets arrested in rural Georgia for driving while black, sparks a dinnertable explosion at the home of his manipulative girlfriend, and sleuths a murder case in Smut Eye, Alabama, all while navigating the recurrent communication problem: “What’s your name?” a kid would ask. “Not Sidney,” I would say. “Okay, then what is it?”
- “[I Am Not Sidney Poitier is] one of the funniest, most original stories to be published in years. Everett has written a delicious comedy of miscommunication.”—NPR
- “Not only is the novel smart and without a trace of pretentiousness, it shows Everett as a novelist at the height of his narrative and satirical powers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
- “Everett’s storytelling can’t be oversold; this is superbly written, crisp and quick-paced, punctuated with pools of simply gorgeous prose. Above all, it’s damn funny.”—Bookslut
- “The prolific Everett writes brilliantly about family, race, mortality, and even the act of storytelling itself. His innovative and often blisteringly funny books . . . will make you reconsider long-held assumptions.”—Reader's Digest