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I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel
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Published:
Graywolf Press 2011
Status:
Checked Out
Description

I Am Not Sidney Poitier is an irresistible comic novel from the master storyteller Percival Everett, and an irreverent take on race, class, and identity in America

I was, in life, to be a gambler, a risk-taker, a swashbuckler, a knight. I accepted, then and there, my place in the world. I was a fighter of windmills. I was a chaser of whales. I was Not Sidney Poitier.
Not Sidney Poitier is an amiable young man in an absurd country. The sudden death of his mother orphans him at age eleven, leaving him with an unfortunate name, an uncanny resemblance to the famous actor, and, perhaps more fortunate, a staggering number of shares in the Turner Broadcasting Corporation.
Percival Everett's hilarious new novel follows Not Sidney's tumultuous life, as the social hierarchy scrambles to balance his skin color with his fabulous wealth. Maturing under the less-than watchful eye of his adopted foster father, Ted Turner, Not gets arrested in rural Georgia for driving while black, sparks a dinnertable explosion at the home of his manipulative girlfriend, and sleuths a murder case in Smut Eye, Alabama, all while navigating the recurrent communication problem: "What's your name?" a kid would ask. "Not Sidney," I would say. "Okay, then what is it?"

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/02/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555970192
ASIN:
B005EXSNMA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. (2011). I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. 2011. I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett, I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel. Graywolf Press, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel. Graywolf Press, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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I Am Not Sidney Poitier is an irresistible comic novel from the master storyteller Percival Everett, and an irreverent take on race, class, and identity in America



I was, in life, to be a gambler, a risk-taker, a swashbuckler, a knight. I accepted, then and there, my place in the world. I was a fighter of windmills. I was a chaser of whales. I was Not Sidney Poitier.



Not Sidney Poitier is an amiable young man in an absurd country. The sudden death of his mother orphans him at age eleven, leaving him with an unfortunate name, an uncanny resemblance to the famous actor, and, perhaps more fortunate, a staggering number of shares in the Turner Broadcasting Corporation.



Percival Everett's hilarious new novel follows Not Sidney's tumultuous life, as the social hierarchy scrambles to balance his skin color with his fabulous wealth. Maturing under the less-than watchful eye of his...

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fullDescription

I Am Not Sidney Poitier is an irresistible comic novel from the master storyteller Percival Everett, and an irreverent take on race, class, and identity in America

I was, in life, to be a gambler, a risk-taker, a swashbuckler, a knight. I accepted, then and there, my place in the world. I was a fighter of windmills. I was a chaser of whales. I was Not Sidney Poitier.
Not Sidney Poitier is an amiable young man in an absurd country. The sudden death of his mother orphans him at age eleven, leaving him with an unfortunate name, an uncanny resemblance to the famous actor, and, perhaps more fortunate, a staggering number of shares in the Turner Broadcasting Corporation.
Percival Everett's hilarious new novel follows Not Sidney's tumultuous life, as the social hierarchy scrambles to balance his skin color with his fabulous wealth. Maturing under the less-than watchful eye of his adopted foster father, Ted Turner, Not gets arrested in rural Georgia for driving while black, sparks a dinnertable explosion at the home of his manipulative girlfriend, and sleuths a murder case in Smut Eye, Alabama, all while navigating the recurrent communication problem: "What's your name?" a kid would ask. "Not Sidney," I would say. "Okay, then what is it?"

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      • premium: False
      • source: Terry McMillan
      • content:

        "Percival Everett is a genius. He's a brilliant writer and so damn smart I envy him."

      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times

      • content: "Percival Everett has made a career out of flouting expectations . . . [forging] a nervy, caustic body of work that defies easy categorization . . . [The Water Cure] is one of the most elliptical, eccentric protest novels you're ever likely to read."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 27, 2009
        Driven by the most sidesplitting dialogue this side of Catch-22
        , Everett's latest tells the story of a young man named Not Sidney Poitier who bears an uncanny resemblance to the famed actor and is adept at deploying a hypnotic technique called Fesmerism. When Not Sidney is young, his mother dies, but not before becoming an early investor in Ted Turner's enterprises. The boy then moves to Atlanta, into the home of Ted Turner. Despite his vast wealth and celebrity looks, when Not Sidney ventures out into the world as a young adult, he faces bizarre, stinging and potentially deadly forms of racism. While Not Sidney comes across as a likable and thoughtful soul, he's the perfect foil for the fictionalized Turner's stream-of-consciousness non sequiturs (“I've never been struck by lightning. You?”) as well as the logical absurdities that pepper the speech of his university professor who happens to be named Percival Everett. Not only is the novel smart and without a trace of pretentiousness, it shows Everett as a novelist at the height of his narrative and satirical powers.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 1, 2009
        Everett (The Water Cure, 2007, etc.) returns with what might be considered a wacky slapstick.

        His allegory about race, class and celebrity takes a turn toward the silly, as the protagonist's name—literally,"Not Sidney Poitier"— inspires all sorts of Abbott and Costello"Who's on First?" riffing. ("Knot, with a k?"..."Not with a k"…"That's what I said"…"N-O-T"…"Sidney?"…"Not my name is not Sidney. My name is Not Sidney.") Not Sidney is an orphan, born to a crazy woman following a 24-month pregnancy. Yet his late mother was wiser than most of the other characters the young innocent will encounter in his wildly absurd travels across the American South. At least she had the good sense to invest early and often in the Turner Broadcasting System, leaving her son so rich he does not know the extent of his fortune. Since Not Sidney never knew his father, the two formative figures in his life are Ted Turner, who takes him in after his mother's death, and Percival Everett, a buffoon of a professor who spouts nonsense as higher sense. (The standard disclaimer, that"this novel is NOT in any way a depiction of anyone living, dead or imagined by anyone other than the author," is followed by a rather more unusual corollary:"This qualification applies, equally, to the character whose name is the same as the author's.") Turner and Everett rescue Not Sidney when he, like Huck Finn, attempts to light out for the territory and lands in the racist backwoods of Peckerwood County and Smuteye, Ala. Yet Not Sidney encounters racism in subtler ways, such as when a prospective girlfriend's parents dismiss him as too dark until the extent of his fortune reveals him to be plenty light enough.

        The author had some fun; the reader will too.

        (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

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