American Fiction with Percival Everett

3hrs

Showtimes

Tue 6/04
Available for online purchase
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Before the film Percival Everett, author of Erasure the book American Fiction is based on, will discuss his oeuvre including his new novel James. Moderated by Kim McLarin, author and Professor of Creative Writing and Interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at Emerson College. 

About American Fiction

American Fiction is Cord Jefferson's hilarious directorial debut, which confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes.

Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

Winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.

About Percival Everett

Percival Everett’s most recent books include Dr. No (finalist for the NBCC Award for Fiction and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award), The Trees (finalist for the Booker Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award), Telephone (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), So Much Blue, Erasure, and I Am Not Sidney Poitier. He has a poetry collection forthcoming with Red Hen Press. He has received the NBCC Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, and is a Distinguished Professor of English at USC.

About James

A brilliant, action-packed reimagining of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both harrowing and ferociously funny, told from the enslaved Jim's point of view.

When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond.

While many narrative set pieces of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remain in place (floods and storms, stumbling across both unexpected death and unexpected treasure in the myriad stopping points along the river’s banks, encountering the scam artists posing as the Duke and Dauphin…), Jim’s agency, intelligence and compassion are shown in a radically new light.

Brimming with the electrifying humor and lacerating observations that have made Everett a “literary icon” (Oprah Daily), and one of the most decorated writers of our lifetime, James is destined to be a major publishing event and a cornerstone of twenty-first century American literature.

About Kim McLarin

Kim McLarin is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels, several essay collections and the bibilomemoir James Baldwin's Another Country: Bookmarked. Her work has appeared in the New England Review, the Sewanee ReviewThe Sun MagazineThe Washington PostThe New York Times and many other publications. She is a former staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times and Professor of Creative Writing and Interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at Emerson College. Her most recent book is Everyday Something Has Tried to Kill Me and Has Failed.

Co-Presented by

Films

1hr 57mins

Winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.