Spanakos's Reviews > Erasure

Erasure by Percival Everett
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's review
May 11, 10

bookshelves: thinklit

If you read or watched Precious/Push you need to read this book. Everett brilliantly satirizes virtually everything in this novel about black novelist whose only crime is trying to write highly intellectual fiction. Bookstores do not know where to place him, the academic world is also ambivalent, and the market does not treat him much better. He abhors the bestselling novels in "African American Fiction" sections which involve poor spelling, stories based in ghettos, which assume an air of authenticity to an essentialized black experience. Not only does he reject the homogenization of black identity, but he rejects that particularly package, as he and his family have a very different reality.

Circumstances impose new financial burdens upon him and he decides, as a joke, to try to write one of these bestsellers. As a lark, he has his agent send out the book (using a pseudonym so that no one connects him to the book). The book generates more attention than any of his previous and this leads to a series of hilarious scenes.

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