Whether Racism is an issue of not in USA (also in some Western Countries), it is a flourishing business. The Black writers are aware of this fact and do not hesitate to take ‘un’due advantage of the situation. When a Black writer takes on another ‘black’ writer, the basic issue, the calamity of being a Black, is intelligently swept under the carpet or the issue will be highlighted with a thick coat of extra Black, for the purpose of competition. I remember a three-time divorcee, also a scholar in the oriental language Sanskrit, comment on the theme family.
Marriage is the foundation stone for a happy family,” he said and then went on to dissect the word ‘Vivaha’ (marriage). ‘Vaha’ means to flow and ‘vi’ means harmoniously together. Therefore, the word ‘Vivaha’ means to flow together harmoniously. Two distinct individuals, two separate personalities, bred, born and brought up in different set of circumstances try to come together from that day onwards to find a common identity, a common goal, and to be precise a common all! “he said. —thank for you support to the institution of marriage, the three-time divorcee that!
An author, when he decides to write the novel, has the issue and theme hovering in his mind. His being an author is itself the major issue. Howsoever detached he claims to be, he can not avoid himself, from the word go to the last sentence of the novel. The next importance issue is the influence of the family, an important family member or members! Percival Everett is a Professor of literature and Head of the English Department at the University of Southern California and the author of fourteen previous novels.
He is the Ellison in the novel under review. Ellison faces personal and family crises—most notably, his aged mother is fast succumbing to Alzheimer’s and he is also struggling to understand his father’s suicide seven years before. The first 10 pages of the book relate to conversation between brother and sister, brother and brother and other personal issues. This is the first indication of the firm attachment the author has for the family, or say the ‘joint family! ’ The book is an entertaining mix of serious issues clubbed with personal affection and parody.
The ‘family’ thread appears and reappears in the novel in one form or the other. Everett had a strong provocation to write this novel. The badge of suffering that had been a part of the Black family not many decades ago in U. S. comes to the fore in the very first page of the book. He writes, “I have always been severely put off by any story which had its main character a writer. (To an extent it is true of this novel also! ) So, I will claim to be something else, if not instead, then in addition, and that shall be a son, a brother, a fisherman, an art lover, a woodworker.
If for no other reason, I choose this last, callous-building occupation because of the shame it caused to my mother, who for years called my pickup truck a station wagon. ”—the familial bonds are subtly explained and given importance to! (p. 1)He novel is a parody of contemporary African-American literature. It contains excellent descriptions on authentic family/social feelings with depth and emotion. My Pafology was initially submitted to the Agent under the gangsta pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh.
This one ‘wrong’ step leads to a series of comical, problematic situations later as the novel climbs the ladder of unprecedented success. Thelonius “Monk” Ellison, author of experimental novels, is somewhat estranged from his family because he was favored by an emotionally distant, recently deceased father. When his sister is killed, Monk returns to Washington, D. C. , to care for his mother, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. ’ The graphic description as to how he tackles the family crisis, clubbed with the professional crisis, with the burden of seventeen ejection slips for his novel, which later turns out to be a monumental success, keeps the reader glued to the novel.
Monk’s main character is an Ebonics-spouting brute with no regard for his four children or their respective mothers. Everett is an enormously talented writer, who juggles with the serious issues related to Black race and other problems faced by US with ease and makes you ponder and giggle at the same time. His wit, the mode of criticism and sarcasm are worth noting. The ideas are engaging and he has intelligently roped in the black community and the white community, his sweet-bitter comments on the US social system merit careful attention, though he says it with a hilarious authenticity.