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February Book Group Discussion: Erasure by Percival Everett

February 22 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Thelonious (Monk) Ellison has never allowed race to define his identity. But as both a writer and an African American, he is offended and angered by the success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, the exploitative debut novel of a young, middle-class black woman who once visited “some relatives in Harlem for a couple of days.” Hailed as an authentic representation of the African American experience, the book is a national bestseller and its author feted on the Kenya Dunston television show. The book’s success rankles all the more as Monk’s own most recent novel has just notched its seventh rejection.

Even as his career as a writer appears to have stalled, Monk finds himself coping with changes in his personal life. In need of distraction from old memories, new responsibilities, and his professional stagnation, Monk composes, in a heat of inspiration and energy, a fierce parody of the sort of exploitative, ghetto wanna-be lit represented by We’s Lives in Da Ghetto.

But when his agent sends this literary indictment out to publishers, it is greeted as an authentic new voice of black America. Monk — or his pseudonymous alter ego, Stagg R. Leigh — is offered money, fame, success beyond anything he has known. And as demand begins to build for meetings with and appearances by Leigh, Monk is faced with a whole new set of problems.


Starting on January 25, we began using Teams for all JCC Book Group meetings  (we are no longer using Zoom). Joining the group by Teams should be as simple as clicking on the “Click here to join meeting” or “Join on the web” links below.

Please contact Irit at iritv@minnesotajcc.org if you have questions. Thank you for your patience as we transition to Teams.


Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 227 361 305 161
Passcode: L9HFbC

Or  Join on the web


February 22
10:00 am - 11:00 am