Winner of the 2002 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction
Percival Everett is the author of fourteen novels, including Glyph, Watershed and Frenzy. Erasure won the inaugural Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for fiction. Everett teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Physician-turned-author Gerritsen returns with her fourth medical thriller (after Gravity), which has all of the usual components: the serial killer who targets women in Boston (dubbed The Surgeon because he removes their wombs before slitting their throats); the attractive, gutsy survivor (surgeon Catherine Cordell) who manages to kill her attacker; the principled, sympathetic detective (Thomas Moore); and the female cop trying to prove herself (the somewhat strident Jane Rizzoli). The kicker? Dr. Cordell survived and killed her attacker in Savannah two years agoso who is killing women in Boston today, and who is now stalking and threatening Catherine? Will she be able to escape the killer's gruesome knife a second time? Gerritsen's novels are briskly plotted thrillers filled with realistic medical detail, and this latest is no exception. While the characters here are somewhat wooden and stereotypical and the action predictable, it will find a place on leisure reading lists, perhaps along with something by Alex Kava. Recommended for public library fiction collections.Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Everett's (Glyph; Frenzy; etc.) latest is an over-the-top masterpiece about an African-American writer who "overcomes" his intellectual tendency to "write white" and ends up penning a parody of ghetto fiction that becomes a huge commercial and literary success. Thelonius "Monk" Ellison is an erudite, accomplished but seldom-read author who insists on writing obscure literary papers rather than the so-called "ghetto prose" that would make him a commercial success. He finally succumbs to temptation after seeing the Oberlin-educated author of We's Lives in da Ghetto during her appearance on a talk show, firing back with a parody called My Pafology, which he submits to his startled agent under the gangsta pseudonym of Stagg R. Leigh. Ellison quickly finds himself with a six-figure advance from a major house, a multimillion-dollar offer for the movie rights and a monster bestseller on his hands. The money helps with a family crisis, allowing Ellison to care for his widowed mother as she drifts into the fog of Alzheimer's, but it doesn't ease the pain after his sister, a physician, is shot by right-wing fanatics for performing abortions. The dark side of wealth surfaces when both the movie mogul and talk-show host demand to meet the nonexistent Leigh, forcing Ellison to don a disguise and invent a sullen, enigmatic character to meet the demands of the market. The final indignity occurs when Ellison becomes a judge for a major book award and My Pafology (title changed to Fuck) gets nominated, forcing the author to come to terms with his perverse literary joke. Percival's talent is multifaceted, sparked by a satiric brilliance that could place him alongside Wright and Ellison as he skewers the conventions of racial and political correctness. (Sept. 21) Forecast: Everett has been well-reviewed before, but his latest far surpasses his previous efforts. Passionate word of mouth (of which there should be plenty), rave reviews (ditto) and the startling cover (a young, smiling black boy holding a toy gun to his head) could help turn this into a genuine publishing event. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.