Erasure

Written by: Percival Everett

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“A scathingly funny look at racism and the book business: editors, publishers, readers, and writers alike.” ―Booklist

“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

In this biting satire, Percival Everett explores the complexities of race, identity, and the publishing industry. Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a once-acclaimed author, finds himself grappling with a series of rejections for his latest novel. Frustrated and disheartened, he watches as “We’s Lives in Da Ghetto,” a debut novel by a woman with minimal experience of the subject matter, skyrockets to success.

Amidst his professional struggles, Monk faces personal tragedies as his mother battles Alzheimer’s and he continues to wrestle with the aftermath of his father’s suicide. In a moment of fury and desperation, Monk pens “My Pafology,” a scathing parody of Juanita Mae Jenkins’s bestseller, under the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh. Unexpectedly, the novel gains serious attention and becomes a sensation.

As Monk navigates the personal and professional consequences of his actions, “Erasure” offers a thought-provoking and darkly humorous examination of the literary world, authenticity, and the toll of societal expectations. Everett’s sharp wit and poignant observations make for a compelling read that will leave readers both entertained and deeply reflective.

Now adapted into the film “AMERICAN FICTION,” directed by Cord Jefferson and starring Jeffrey Wright and Tracee Ellis Ross, “Erasure” continues to resonate with audiences, cementing its place as a modern classic.

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