Saturday, February 2, 2013

Five top books on missing persons and absent figures

Heidi Julavits's novels are The Uses of Enchantment, The Effect of Living Backwards, The Mineral Palace, and The Vanishers.

For the Wall Street Journal, she named a five best list of books on missing persons and absent figures, including:
by Percival Everett (2001)

The main character of Percival Everett's novel is Thelonious "Monk" Ellison, the author of a number of mixedly received novels. Considered "not black enough" by the critical establishment—in part because his novels don't concern race issues, in part because he is the privileged product of an upper-middle-class family—Ellison is (yes) an invisible man, or at least an invisible writer. Disgusted by the celebration of a novel called "We's Live in Da Ghetto," Ellison writes a parody intended to make fun of the commercialization of African-American struggle stories. His book, called "My Pafology" and published under the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh, becomes a best seller. Now Ellison must juggle two identities. Everett is a writer of exquisite perversion, but girding this bleakly comic cultural critique are his protagonist's travails with his Alzheimer's-afflicted mother and a secret kept by his father, dead of suicide. A decade after it was published, "Erasure" remains a prescient and provocative read.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue