Erasure (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In a literary canon that spans over twenty five titles, to me this is Everett's Magna Opus. This book takes a satirical look at the left turn an author takes when his latest book doesn't move the needle in the publishing world and turns to Urban Fiction, piggybacking off the success of an Oberlin educated writer's newest release We's Lives in da Ghetto.

Picked by Dante in Fort Greene

— From Staff Picks


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

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.

About the Author

Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of seventeen novels, including "I Am Not Sidney Poitier," "The Water Cure," "Wounded," and "Glyph."

Praise For…

Praise for Erasure:

"Erasure is as watertight and hilarious a satire as, say, [Evelyn Waugh’s] Scoop . . . [Everett] is a first-rate word wrangler." Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

"With equal measures of sympathy and satire, [Erasure] craftily addresses the highly charged issue of being ‘black enough’ in America." Jenifer Berman, The New York Times Book Review

"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 "A scathingly funny look at racism and the book business: editors, publishers, readers, and writers alike." —Booklist  "More genuine and tender than much of Everett's previous work, but no less impressive intellectually: a high point in an already substantial literary career." —Kirkus Reviews  "The sharp satire on American publishers and American readers that Everett puts forward is delicious, though it won't win him many friends among the sentimental educated class who want to read something serious about black inner-city life without disturbing any of their stereotypes." —Chicago Tribune

Product Details
ISBN: 9781555975999
ISBN-10: 1555975992
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: October 25th, 2011
Pages: 265
Language: English