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By Fefe8701 Oct 08, 2013 423 Words
Erasure by Percival Everett is a very dynamic novel. It from the start jumps into race and what it means to be black. The narrator, Thelonious “Monk” Ellison is not the stereotypical “African - American” man yet he deals with a great amount of struggles related to race. This novel brings up the ever changing debate of what is an “authentic” black novel. Percival Everett really delves into the idea of labels and genres. Categorization is a struggle that many Black people deal with in society. This novel really exposes that. The protagonist in Erasure is Thelonious “Monk” Ellison who is an African- American man who is privileged. Although he is an African- American man he does not define himself as though and does not allow race to hinder him in any way. He is of the upper class. He is a Harvard educated author who writes novels that are so complicated. For that, they are not widely read.This makes him successful. Monk is unsuccessful in many areas of his life. He is unsuccessful in his love life as well as his career. He is essentially lonely. As the novel goes on his life begins to unravel. Monk grows tired of seeing his books that have nothing to do with race be put in the section deemed for African- Americans. He sees the success of a novel called We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, which is an overly stereotypical story of an African- American family living in Harlem. It is considered an authentic black novel to critics. Because of this and after his agent tells him that his novels are not “black enough’”. Monk decides to write his own novel under the fake name of Stagg R. Leigh called, My Pafology. He wrote as a satire piece in response to We Lives in Da Ghetto. Yet he is surprised by its major success. What I enjoy about this novel is that it talks about the issues of a man who has essentially everything yet nothing at all. He has an education and he comes from a wealthy family yet his race has made it difficult for him. He has hardships like any other person like dealing with a mother who has Alzheimer's and a father who committed suicide. Yet, He has become the very person that he is disgusted by. He is now faced with success from his parody but at the cost of abandoning his beliefs and becoming an hypocrite. What makes this novel so enticing is the struggles of authenticity.

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