Black fiction

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I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett: ‘An overlooked genius’

I’ve borrowed that subtitle from Courttia Newland’s introduction to Percival Everett’s novel, first published in the US in 2009. Newland stumbled upon Everett’s Graceland in a second-hand bookshop in London and went back for a copy of Erasure, the book that introduced me to this inventive, smart, very funny novelist. He’s prolific, too, but few …

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Passing by Nell Larsen: Race, identity and the need to belong

Last week I reviewed Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen’s Quicksand, promising that I’d write about Passing in a separate post. The novellas were written the late 1920s and have recently been reissued in a single volume. Both explore race and identity but while Quicksand is widely considered to be autobiographical there’s no suggestion that Passing …

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