Live via Zoom:
Monday, June 14, 7:30 PM ET
Wesley Brown presents Tragic Magic
In conversation with Reginald Dwayne Betts
Novelist, playwright, and Professor Emeritus in English at Rutgers University Wesley Brown takes the virtual stage at Greenlight to present his novel Tragic Magic, originally published in 1978 and edited by Toni Morrison during her time at Random House and just re-released as part of the McSweeney’s series Of the Diaspora. Tragic Magic is the story of Melvin Ellington, a.k.a. Mouth, a Black, twenty-something, ex-college radical who has just been released from a five-year prison stretch after being a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. Although hungry for freedom and desperate for female companionship, Ellington is haunted by a past that drives him to make sense of the choices leading up to this day. Through a filmic series of flashbacks, the novel revisits key times in Ellington’s life and his “tragic magic” relationships with magnetic but dangerous avatars of black masculinity in crisis. Award-winning poet Reginald Dwayne Betts joins Brown in conversation to celebrate the new edition of this tremendous novel.