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Percival Everett

Autor(a) de Erasure

46+ Works 4,104 Membros 237 Reviews 12 Favorited
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About the Author

Percival Everett is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Obras de Percival Everett

Erasure (2001) 813 cópias
The Trees (2021) 655 cópias
I Am Not Sidney Poitier (2009) 327 cópias
Telephone (2020) 206 cópias
Dr No (2022) 204 cópias
American Desert (2004) 189 cópias
Glyph (1999) 179 cópias
So Much Blue (2017) 177 cópias
Wounded (2005) 176 cópias
Assumption (2011) 164 cópias
God's Country (1994) 101 cópias
Damned If I Do: Stories (2004) 81 cópias
Watershed (1996) 81 cópias
The Water Cure (2007) 70 cópias
Suder (1983) 53 cópias
James (2024) 49 cópias
Cutting Lisa (1986) 39 cópias
For Her Dark Skin (1990) 26 cópias
Frenzy (1996) 25 cópias
Walk Me to the Distance (1985) 25 cópias
Big Picture (1996) 25 cópias
Grand Canyon, Inc. (2001) 23 cópias
The One That Got Away (1992) 23 cópias
Zulus (1990) 19 cópias
X (2011) 11 cópias
There Are No Names for Red (2010) — Ilustrador — 9 cópias
Swimming Swimmers Swimming (2011) 8 cópias
The Body of Martin Aguilera (2013) 8 cópias
Trout's Lie (2015) 6 cópias
n + 1 issue spring 2020 (2020) 1 exemplar(es)
Châtiment 1 exemplar(es)
Two Stories (FreeReadPress) (2018) 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2000 (2000) — Contribuinte — 391 cópias
Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing (2002) — Contribuinte — 125 cópias
In the United States of Africa (2006) — Prefácio, algumas edições99 cópias
Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor (2006) — Contribuinte — 65 cópias
My California: Journeys By Great Writers (2004) — Contribuinte — 54 cópias
The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story (2021) — Contribuinte — 51 cópias
A Portrait of Southern Writers: Photographs (2000) — Contribuinte — 13 cópias
Nick Brandt - the day may break (2021) — Posfácio — 7 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



AMERICAN AUTHORS CHALLENGE--AUGUST 2023--PERCIVAL EVERETT em 75 Books Challenge for 2023 (Fevereiro 4)
Is this (name a book!) worth finishing? em Book talk (Março 2023)


With its strong note of the Southern grotesque, I naturally thought of Flannery O’Connor while reading this extraordinary novel. Like O’Connor, Everett exaggerates his characters and plot to make the stupid violent racism of whites more shocking. Everett’s racists here are profoundly stupid people. This is not to say however that Everett and O’Connor are similar in their fundamental aims. O’Connor was famously a Catholic novelist. She was concerned with redemption, and her stories attempted to show to a complacent society why we needed it. Everett is not a Catholic or any kind of religious novelist.* “The Trees” is not about redemption, but revenge. It is a purely secular reckoning with a sinful society, lacking any transcendence.

This similarity/difference is nicely illustrated I think in O’Connor’s quote that, “The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural.” Everett does not have any Christian concerns but in “The Trees” he is also addressing the problem of forcing a slumbering sinful society (sorry) to look at its horrific pattern of racist violence. One of his characters muses:

“Everybody talks about genocides around the world, but when the killing is slow and spread over a hundred years, no one notices. Where there are no mass graves, no one notices. American outrage is always for show. It has a shelf life. If that Griffin book had been Lynched Like Me, America might have looked up from dinner or baseball or whatever they do now. Twitter?”

Or take this exchange between Everett’s avenging angel, Mama Z, and a well-meaning academic whose uselessness is corrected by forcing him to take a more visceral look at America’s racist violence:
“What do you know about lynching?” Mama Z asked.
“Some. I wrote a book about racial violence.”
“I know,” the old woman said. “I have a copy in the house. It’s very …”—she searched for the word—“scholastic.”
“I think you’re saying that like it’s a bad thing.”
Mama Z shrugged.
Damon looked at Gertrude, as if for clarification, only to see her shrug as well. “Scholastic,” he repeated.
“Don’t take it the wrong way,” Gertrude said.
“Your book is very interesting,” Mama Z said, “because you were able to construct three hundred and seven pages on such a topic without an ounce of outrage.”
Damon was visibly bothered by this. “One hopes that dispassionate, scientific work will generate proper outrage.”
“Nicely said, nicely said,” Mama Z said. “Wouldn’t you say that was nicely said, great-granddaughter?”

Everett’s story here, and his use of the Southern grotesque tradition, does an incredible job of illustrating the repugnant distortion of America’s past and present. It is highly engaging, humorous mixed with horror, and the writing is addictive. He leads his characters, and the reader, to first imagine this is a ghost story of one vengeful spirit, then to a more natural explanation involving a small active group of assassins, only to finally veer way off into a zombie revenge fantasy that I for one never saw coming!

It is not all Southern grotesque of course, Everett writes out of multiple traditions here. One of his most effective methods borrows from the Homeric Epic - the making of lists. Lists of names. Lists of places. Lots of lists of places. This is an entire and complete chapter:

Florence, South Carolina. Macon, Georgia. Hope Mills, North Carolina. Selma, Alabama. Shelbyville, Tennessee. Blue Ash, Ohio. Bedford, Indiana. Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Irmo, South Carolina. Orangeburg, South Carolina. Los Angeles, California. Jackson, Mississippi. Benton, Arkansas. Lexington, Nebraska. New York, New York. Rolla, Missouri. Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Elsmere, Delaware. Tarrytown, New York. Grafton, North Dakota. Oxford, Pennsylvania. Anne Arundel, Maryland. Otero, Colorado. Coos Bay, Oregon. Chester, South Carolina. Petersburg, Virginia. Laurel, Delaware. Madison, Maryland. Beckley, West Virginia. Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. Fort Mill, South Carolina. Niceville, Florida. Slidell, Louisiana. Money, Mississippi. DeSoto, Mississippi. Quitman, Mississippi. Elmore, Alabama. Jefferson, Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama. Henry, Alabama. Colbert, Alabama. Russell, Alabama. Coffee, Alabama. Clarke, Alabama. Laurens, South Carolina. Greenwood, South Carolina. Oconee, South Carolina. Union, South Carolina. Aiken, South Carolina. York, South Carolina. Abbeville, South Carolina. Hampton, South Carolina. Franklin, Mississippi. Lowndes, Mississippi. Leflore, Mississippi. Simpson, Mississippi. Jefferson, Mississippi. Washington, Mississippi. George, Mississippi. Monroe, Mississippi. Humphreys, Mississippi. Bolivar, Mississippi. Sunflower, Mississippi. Hinds, Mississippi. Newton, Mississippi. Copiah, Mississippi. Alcorn, Mississippi. Jefferson Davis, Mississippi. Panola, Mississippi. Clay, Mississippi. Lamar, Mississippi. Yazoo, Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi. Mississippi.

Personally I found that the most chillingly effective chapter in the whole novel. Over and over and over, lynching after lynching after lynching. It keeps happening but don’t dare for a second think it’s natural, or just the way things are.

This is an incredible, extraordinary, accomplished, brilliant, urgent novel. The writing quality is very high. My only hesitation with it is that purely secular revenge stories as good as they may be are always missing something for me that writers like O’Connor have. Here there is no transcendence, no redemption, no grace. All there is is the world’s brutal stage and actors upon it and the best thing is revenge. There are many stories like that, of course, and they can be very entertaining. And if a belief in something greater than the material world is alien to the reader’s constitution, they would not share this small hesitation. Either way, definitely a 5 star read.

* Quote from Everett in an interview: “Religion is about fear. Nobody wants to be a Christian because they want to help people. They want to be a Christian so they don't go to hell.” I’m admittedly disappointed he has this simplistic outlook but it does fit perfectly with “The Trees”.
… (mais)
lelandleslie | outras 41 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |
Emmett Till lives (and dies) many times in this seriocomic novel in which racism suffuses the roots of every tree in America.
ben_r47 | outras 41 resenhas | Feb 22, 2024 |
Good book. Edge of the seat thriller. Page-turner.
37143Birnbaum | outras 41 resenhas | Feb 21, 2024 |
Main fella in the story is one Curt Marder. His story - “They burned my house and my barn, killed my milk cow and my best pulling mule and then run off with my Sadie, my woman, the light of my life.” They also killed his dog. A terrible story all told, though most that hear it give their condolences just for the dog!

Marder throws in with a kid named Jake and a tracker named Bubba to hunt those dirty no-good-fers down and kill ‘em. It's a really, really good story with a great mix of humor and action. But I really didn't like the end, not at all. I'm taking away a whole star for that ending.… (mais)
Stahl-Ricco | outras 3 resenhas | Feb 19, 2024 |



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