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A Lucky Man: Stories
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Graywolf Press 2018
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FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
In the nine expansive, searching stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. An imaginative young boy from the Bronx goes swimming with his group from day camp at a backyard pool in the suburbs, and faces the effects of power and privilege in ways he can barely grasp. A teen intent on proving himself a man through the all-night revel of J'Ouvert can't help but look out for his impressionable younger brother. A pair of college boys on the prowl follow two girls home from a party and have to own the uncomfortable truth of their desires. And at a capoeira conference, two brothers grapple with how to tell the story of their family, caught in the dance of their painful, fractured history.
Jamel Brinkley's stories, in a debut that announces the arrival of a significant new voice, reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class—where luck may be the greatest fiction of all.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/01/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555979959
ASIN:
B0756J8XRK

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Jamel Brinkley. (2018). A Lucky Man: Stories. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jamel Brinkley. 2018. A Lucky Man: Stories. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jamel Brinkley, A Lucky Man: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jamel Brinkley. A Lucky Man: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. 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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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:46:59
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories, which won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Story Prize, the John Leonard Prize, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He has also been awarded an O. Henry Prize, the Rome Prize, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Fellowship. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, Ploughshares, and The Best American Short Stories. He was raised in the Bronx and in Brooklyn, New York, and currently teaches at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
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title
A Lucky Man
fullDescription

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
In the nine expansive, searching stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. An imaginative young boy from the Bronx goes swimming with his group from day camp at a backyard pool in the suburbs, and faces the effects of power and privilege in ways he can barely grasp. A teen intent on proving himself a man through the all-night revel of J'Ouvert can't help but look out for his impressionable younger brother. A pair of college boys on the prowl follow two girls home from a party and have to own the uncomfortable truth of their desires. And at a capoeira conference, two brothers grapple with how to tell the story of their family, caught in the dance of their painful, fractured history.
Jamel Brinkley's stories, in a debut that announces the arrival of a significant new voice, reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class—where luck may be the greatest fiction of all.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 26, 2018
        The nine stories in Brinkley’s promising debut address persistent issues of race, class, and masculinity across three decades of New York City’s history, from Manhattan’s corporatization in the mid-’90s to the outer boroughs’ gentrification today. In “No More Than a Bubble,” two black Columbia undergrads crash a very white house party in Brooklyn, where they pair off with two older women with confounding, less-than-successful results. An imaginative young man finds his expectations of upper-middle-class life dashed during a day trip to the suburbs in “I Happy Am,” while a former convict reconnects with a dead buddy’s girlfriend in “A Family.” “A Lucky Man” and “Clifton’s Place” are the collection’s two most successful stories, conveying the particular sadness of older African-Americans left adrift by market forces and “revitalization.” Other entries, in plot and in prose, can feel too polite and mannered to register as memorable, nodding toward a stylistic exuberance and transgressive edge that never fully appear. Nonetheless, Brinkley’s stories offer penetrating perspectives and stirring tragedies. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2018
        In nine perceptive stories about broken families, loners, and social outcasts in search of redemption, Brinkley's stunning debut depicts urban life in all its lonely, wearying detail. Set in Brooklyn and the Bronx, in poor neighborhoods and on school campuses, these tales are imbued with pathos, sexuality, and moments of violence and tenderness. In the title story, a private school security guard secretly snaps photos of young women in public and wonders if his wife has left him for good. In I Happy Am, a boy attending a Catholic day camp shares an unlikely bond with a suburban woman, even though she's not the wealthy blonde he anticipated. No More Than a Bubble follows two college friends who crash a Brooklyn house party, where the girls they pursue teach them a lesson in hard-to-get. The former inmate in A Family stalks his deceased friend's son and widow until an unexpected encounter reveals his intentions and complicated history. These characters may be hanging on by frayed threads, but they are very much alive and not so much guarded against whatever hardships may befall them as, rather, looking for a lucky break and welcoming chance with open arms. With this memorable collection, Brinkley emerges as a gifted and empathetic new writer.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2018

        Brinkley's first collection portrays young African American men struggling with fathers, brothers, and friends, present or absent. What impresses first is the length and strength, the sheer weightiness of each detailed and meditative story. Brinkley doesn't flick off moments but shows how each contains multitudes. In "No More Than a Bubble," ostensibly about two friends picking up girls at a party, the narrator says, "Sometimes I feel all I'd have to offer, other than questions, are my memories of that time in Brooklyn." As he recalls his father's effort to teach him about happiness, he can't enjoy the sex he's having because he's trying to manage the situation; later, he recognizes the sudden rupture with his friend as something repeated throughout his life. Elsewhere, a boy who thinks of himself as a robot--the better to block his feelings--endures a troublesome trip to the suburbs, and a teenager striving for manhood is caught between his desire for a wild night out and his concern for a damaged younger brother he sometimes scorns. VERDICT Fully developed stories that readers will savor.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2018

        In this debut collection, chosen as an Indies Introduce Winter/Spring 2018 title by the American Booksellers Association, men and boys struggle with privilege, desire, responsibility, and family history.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2018
        An assured debut collection of stories about men and women, young and old, living and loving along the margins in Brooklyn and the Bronx.In "I Happy Am," one of nine tales Brinkley spins here about dreamers constricted or confounded by realities, Freddy is a young black boy from the Bronx who, at least for the length of the trip his summer camp is taking to the suburbs, imagines himself as a superpowered robot. Upon finding the house his camp is visiting to be "a bigger version of the apartment where [he] lived," Freddy begins to wonder whether real life "spoke...to what his imagination guarded": that there may be more potential for wonder and mystery beyond his dream life. This story shares with the others a preoccupation with characters' reckoning with unfulfilled promises and unrecognized possibilities. The title of "J'ouvert, 1996" refers to an all-night revel originating at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza during which a teenage boy, his wide-eyed younger brother in tow, intends to find, and assert, a grown-up self. In "A Family," an ex-convict grapples tentatively, even a bit reluctantly, with the idea of becoming a lover to the widow of his closest friend. The title story is about a middle-aged man who believes his wife has left him and taken whatever luck he could claim with her, while "Infinite Happiness" navigates the dicey emotional maze of a lopsided romantic triangle playing out in the promised land of present-day Brooklyn. It's difficult to single out any story as most outstanding since they are each distinguished by Brinkley's lyrical invention, precise descriptions of both emotional and physical terrain, and a prevailing compassion toward people as bemused by travail as they are taken aback by whatever epiphanies blossom before them.A major talent.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
In the nine expansive, searching stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. An imaginative young boy from the Bronx goes swimming with his group from day camp at a backyard pool in the suburbs, and faces the effects of power and privilege in ways he can barely grasp. A teen intent on proving himself a man through the all-night revel of J'Ouvert can't help but look out for his impressionable younger brother. A pair of college boys on the prowl follow two girls home from a party and have to own the uncomfortable truth of their desires. And at a capoeira conference, two brothers grapple with how to tell the story of their family, caught in the dance of their painful, fractured history.
Jamel Brinkley's stories, in a debut that announces the arrival of a significant new voice, reflect the tenderness and...

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