Percival Everett – author, most recently, of the acclaimed satirical novel “Erasure” – reads from and discusses his work as part of the Provost’s Distinguished Writers Series on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Newman Recital Hall. A dessert reception and book signing will follow. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Call (213) 740-1744.
Hailed as “an over-the-top masterpiece” by Publisher’s Weekly, “Erasure” features Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, an African-American college professor whose fictional writing fails to attract a wide readership until he pens a pseudonymous parody of a book about “black experience.” Only, the book – reprinted in “Erasure” in its entirety – is taken at face value, not as a grotesque farce, and lands Ellison squarely in the midst of a moral dilemma.
As “Erasure” proves one of his most noticed works, Everett, professor of English at USC, notes the parallels between his and his creation’s career. “There’s a terrible irony,” he recently told the Los Angeles Times, “that this book is getting a lot of attention for the very reason I wrote [it].”
Everett joined the USC faculty in 1998. His numerous publications include the 1990 novel “Zulus,” which won the New American Writing Award, and the 1996 story collection “Big Picture,” which received the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.
The Provost’s Distinguished Writers Series continues on April 10 with Selma Holo, director of USC Fisher Gallery and the Museum Studies Program.