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Erasure: now a major motion picture 'American Fiction'

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And as demand begins to build for meetings with and appearances by Leigh, Monk is faced with a whole new set of problems. His name refers, of course, both to the jazz musician and Ralph Ellison, author of the classic, Invisible Man. Funny, moving, and—as with the seven other Percival Everett books I've read—unexpected and unpredictable, the paperback of Erasure is printed in a tiny font, and I was glad because I didn't want it to end. He’d been having affairs, at least one with a white woman, a source of some resentment from Monk (which he later exorcises in a scene writing the satirical novel at the center of the film). And yet, the Ellison family’s resources are limited enough that the children argue over how to manage the financial burden of taking care of their mother, itself a subtle commentary on the precarity of Black wealth, even among bourgie Negroes like the Ellisons.

Tony winner Leslie Uggams is the perfect pers But let’s completely zero in on this one: ERASURE is an intelligent balance between satire, farce, social commentary, and domestic drama. The overall concept is clever and compelling, but the satire never really pushes beyond where you expect it to go. Come on, a novel in which Aristophanes and Euripides kill a younger, more talented dramatist, then contemplate the death of metaphysics? Everett is skeptical about the truth-value of race as a concept, but that hasn’t kept him from writing about it extremely well, usually with an eye for the absurd.Monk also finds a mystery to solve: among his father's private papers are clues to the identity of a sister Monk never knew he had, the child of his father's love affair with a German woman in the 1950s.

and about the damage a father inflicts when he dubs one child "the golden child" and emotionally excludes the others. Their white colleagues vote for it anyway; after all, it’s a refreshing, authentic, and brave work of Black literature. The Guardian review described the book as a "skilful, extended parody of ghetto novels such as Sapphire's Push. Per esempio, altrettanto importante mi pare la storia familiare di questo scrittore, che si chiama Thelonius Ellison, ma per tutti è Monk, e per sua madre Monksie: il padre suicida sette anni fa, la madre di giorno in giorno sempre più vittima dell’Alzheimer, la sorella maggiore ginecologa in una clinica di trincea assediata dagli antiabortisti, e il fratello maggiore che decide di vivere la sua omosessualità nonostante abbia moglie e figli, ma tutti hanno sempre sospettato che fosse gay. Like a ticking time bomb, Monk nears the edge of the emotional cliff where an epiphany suddenly surfaces.To parapharse Aaron Sorkin, people who cannot manage to sell Percival Everett books should get out of the selling stuff business. They don't want his experimental novels about Sophocles, but if he wrote about "the Black experience", like a truly terrible and exploitative bestseller he sees. Amusing, perhaps, only to an academic with a sense of humor, but I’d like to have five dollars for every befuddled intellectual who put shoulder to the wheel and tried to make sense of the nonsense.

Moreover, these moments of interiority show that race really isn’t all that important to the Ellisons when they’re alone together and relate to one another as family members, not as Black people burdened with representing the race in public in front of prying white eyes, as they do in a galling scene showing them scattering Lisa’s ashes on the beach; a white male neighbor interrupts the moment to grill them about whether they have a permit to do so. The struggles of a gay black brother, an aloof father that shows him unabashed favoritism and a mother who is approaching dementia are contrasted against the protagonists own self recrimination and doubt. In Erasure, Thelonious "Monk" Ellison, the lone artist in a high-achieving African American family — his brother and sister are doctors following in their father and grandfather's footsteps – is facing professional setbacks just when his family needs him to step up. To me, that impossibility only reaffirms the relevance and value of the novel as a long textual form that allows for deeper intellectual exploration. Maybe that quality of the satiric wit is just plain that rare or maybe television has eaten up all the talent.

I reckon you have to be very strong to not conform to the model laid down for you, to be yourself as you really are rather than as others lazily choose to see you. Monk claims to reject the "despair" of "self-murder", but at the beginning of Erasure he says that he dreads anyone seeing the pages of his journal.

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