Dusty Book: Erasure

Shelf RenewalHere’s one that begs another read. In Percival Everett’s Erasure (2001), a black author, sick and tired of no one reading his uber-literary historical novels, (he reaches his breaking point when he discovers his booksincluding his latest novel, which involves Greek philosopherson the “African American Studies” shelves at Borders) writes a ridiculous spoof of contemporary street lit called My Pafology. He then submits it to his agent as a joke, and is shocked when it reaches a multi-million dollar publisher bidding war. It gets even worse when, in an attempt to stop it from being released, he changes the title to a four-letter word. . . which garners it a erasureNational Book Award nomination. Readers are treated to chapters from the fake book (terrifically funny and horrifying at the same time), and an interesting look at what goes on behind the bestseller lists.

The August 2001 Booklist review called it “a scathingly funny look at racism and the book business: editors, publishers, readers, and writers alike.”

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About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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