We are delighted to finally be able to present fiction writer Jamel Brinkley here, the last time he wasn’t able to appear as scheduled being owed to a date conflict when his debut book of stories, A Lucky Man (Graywolf Press) was a finalist for the National Book Awards, and the ceremony was the date of his Elliott Bay reading. He is here from his California home for the paperback edition of his collection of nine stories, which, in total, carry a remarkable breadth and variety to them. "Among A Lucky Man’s many wonderful accomplishments — the way the length of each story affords its characters room to move; the use of linear, progressive time to knit the individual stories into a social fabric, à la Alice Munro or Wideman — one in particular is genuinely path-clearing. Brinkley offers visions of manhood and masculinity that demonstrate candor without false intensity, desire without ownership. His male characters have fictional experiences that, in the hands of the right reader, can become equipment for living." - Los Angeles Review of Books.
"Jamel Brinkley writes the kind of fiction that reads like the whole truth. As his characters —from estranged siblings in Virginia to surrogate families in Brooklyn—love, hurt, challenge, and sometimes save each other, their stories vividly expose our ideas of masculinity and the fumes of racism and injustice in the American air we breathe. A Lucky Man is full of insight and music—a bold, urgent debut." —Mia Alvar.