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Percival Everett: Award Winning Author Reads From His New Novel: So Much Blue

May 9, 2017

April 3rd was an interesting day for many students, staff, faculty, and community members who came to see award-winning author Percival Everett at San Diego State University’s Montezuma Hall.

Award winning Author Percival Everett

Presented by the Beautiful Arts Club and the Department of Classics and Humanities, the reading caught many students by surprise, due to the image flier.

So Much Blue by Percival Everett

Most of the audience thought that Everett’s newest book addressed blues music and Black urban lives. It does not. He humorously noted that the book cover was not his choice, but if it sold more copies . . .well. The story line revolves around a young woman, the color blue, and the Vietnam War. That’s all I’m going to reveal.

Percival Everett

At times the plot sounds like a mystery novel, a  script for a film Noir set in Vietnam, dark, mysterious, looming imagery. Yet, it  also has unexpected splashes of wit and wordplay that sends imaginations soaring into smells and sounds, and memories of unspoken encounters and narratives  The excerpt is full of Everett’s dry wit and satirical irony.

Percival Everett is an award winning author. He works in academe and talks about life with a perspective that to some is “off setting.” To others, it is refreshing.

As an author, he plays with a reader’s sensibilities of gender and race. Often allowing them to believe what they want about characters as they read, often basing their interpretations on daily interactions and expectations. They are sometimes surprised to learn that the characters on which they project their daily reality, are not what they seem.

However, as an academic and a Black male of the 21st century,  Everett is a realist. Asked about race, he stated (I  paraphrase his comment here). Not to be fully aware of how one presents and is “read” racially is folly. The lived experience of being a Black man in America is an everyday reality that does not rule my existence as an overarching oppressive shadow, it simply…is.

Award Winning Author Percival Everett and Blogger Delores Fisher

Everett’s reading from A Blue Afternoon was a quiet, informative, intimate, and nuanced presentation. Blue Lagoon is on the shelves now. If you haven’t read Percival’s Everett’s work, add Blue Afternoon to your summer reading list.


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