Graywolf Press, Paperback, 9781555975999, 265pp.
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
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.
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