August 25, 2020


Erasure. A Novel. Percival Everett. Erasure. download cover image. “With equal measures of sympathy and satire, [Erasure] craftily addresses. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood Misery by Stephen King The Shining by Stephen King Erasure by Percival Everett Possession by A.S. Byatt. When I first read Percival Everett’s Erasure, it was assigned to me by Gregory Pardlo. Years removed from his Pulitzer Prize, Pardlo was a.

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African-Americangraywolf presspostmodern fiction. The author of 18 previous works of fiction, Percival Everett is perhaps best known as a writer of highly ironic novels which address such topical landmines as American race and class relations Erasurecelebrity culture I Am Not Sidney Poitierand even the role of critical theory in American arts and erqsure Glyph.

What Percival Everett’s ‘Erasure’ Can Tell Us about Authenticity – The Millions

However, in his newest work, Assumptionhe writes about something completely different. Though the book is listed as a novel, Assumption actually consists of three linked novellas, each a separate mystery and mysterious in its own right; so yes, trite as it sounds, nothing here is as it seems.

In fact, Assumption is not so much a satirical takedown of evverett large, American bugbear as much as it is a literal exploration, a erashre on the nature of truth, violence, and the human propensity for denial and deception, self-inflicted and otherwise. Assumption concerns Ogden Walker, a deputy sheriff in sparely populated Plata County, New Mexico, and his attempts to solve three separate murders.


That is to say, Everett is a genius novelist, but only an average storyteller.

Where Assumption falls flat, like most other books written these days, is that it assumes a simple story, told well, is enough. Assumption is good, yes, but only etasure in the sense that it shows how formidable a writer Everett is, even when crafting what will unfortunately end up being judged as one of his lesser, and less important, works.

Everett works all angles to show how authors of color are evereht measured not according to their literary ability but according to how well they represent racial and racist ideas.

Essentially, the novel asks the question s: My Pafology is a horrendously written text included in full in Erasure as a work-within-the-workand of course, it becomes an instant bestseller. Unprepared for his pseudonymous success— My Pafology was written as an ironic parody, after all—Monk must then deal with the social and psychological repercussions of his newfound literary fame: Does he expose himself as Stagg R.

The answer to evrrett above question is not what you think, mainly because the search for an answer is not what the novel is about. The question the novel asks us to consider is how any artist of color might manage to hang on to her creative and personal integrity, especially when an entire industry is devoted to maintaining a pathological and sometimes blatantly racist lie about them.


What makes Erasure such a great book is the answer it posits, but in the grand scheme of things, as for what that answer actually means, I feign no hypotheses. Rone Shavers is coeditor of Paper Empire: William Gaddis and the World Peercival.

Assumption and Erasure By Percival Everett | Quarterly Conversation

His fiction has appeared in ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, keepgoing. A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas. Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo.

A History of the New by Michael North There is no better way to ensure the early demise of a form or a style than to proclaim its new He composed its twenty-two chapters