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Book Title

A Lucky Man

Author 1
Jamel Brinkley
In nine powerful stories, Jamel Brinkley explores the charged, complex ties between men whose mistakes threaten their relationships with friends, lovers, and family members. An imaginative young boy from the Bronx goes swimming with his day camp group at a backyard pool in the suburbs, and faces the effects of power and privilege in ways he can barely grasp. A pair of college boys on the prowl follow two girls home from a party and have to own the uncomfortable truth of their desires. And at a capoeira conference, two brothers grapple with how to tell the story of their family, caught in the dance of their painful, fractured history.

A debut that Entertainment Weekly saw “creating waves within the literary sphere,” A Lucky Man reflects the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class—where luck may be the greatest fiction of all.

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“Full of subtle poignancy. . . . Each story is a trenchant exploration of race and class”—The New Yorker

About the Author

Jamel  Brinkley
Credit: Arash Saedinia
Jamel Brinkley, author of A Lucky Man, was raised in the Bronx and Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in California.
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  • Finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Fiction
    Finalist for the 2019 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection
    Finalist for the 2019 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction
  • “[A Lucky Man] may include only nine stories, but in each of them, Brinkley gives us an entire world.”—
  • “Through pages of peerless prose and startlingly sharp sentences, what ultimately emerges is a constantly reframed argument about the role and power of masculinity, where vulnerability pulses beneath a skin of self preservation.”Los Angeles Times
  • “With equal parts precision and poetry, these nine audacious stories step into the minefields awaiting boys of color as they approach manhood in Brooklyn and the Bronx—testing the limits of relationships, social norms, and their own definitions of masculinity.”O, the Oprah Magazine


This book is made possible through a partnership with the College of Saint Benedict, and honors the legacy of S. Mariella Gable, a distinguished teacher at the College. Support has been provided by the Manitou Fund as part of the Warner Reading Program.

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