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New Meetup: Meteor In the Madhouse By Leon Forrest

From: Calvin R.
Sent on: Friday, April 30, 2010 10:48 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for a ne{o}lit book club!

What: Meteor In the Madhouse By Leon Forrest

When: Thursday, June 24,[masked]:00 PM

Market Ave. Wine Bar
2521 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 696-WINE (9463)

Why this Book for our "Within the Last Decade Pick"?

1) Because last months book, Jude The Obscure, comes it at around 500 pages and is a pretty big book for our club. So why not follow it up with a nice 275 page book.

2) And not too long ago New York Magazine polled 61 Critics for the best books of the 2000s that nobody read. This one was on that list.

seminal African-America writer Leon Forrest [masked]) is not as well-known as Ralph Ellison, but during his lifetime he elicited high praise from such figures as Stanley Crouch and Toni Morrison. Forrest's masterwork, Divine Days, introduced the successful dramatist and professor Joubert Jones, who here narrates the five interconnected novellas riffs on his memories during the day of his death in November 1992. The characters all have roots in the south, in Forrest County, Miss., but have long gone north, to Forest County, Ill. (a stand-in for Chicago). The stories are held together thematically by Joubert's memory of Novembers past, such as one in 1972 when Marvella Gooseberry, a neighbor of his adoptive grandmother, Gram Gussie Jones, "flipped her wig" and threatened to shoot herself and others with a gun; the November he visited his friend and rival, Leonard Foster, in the state mental hospital; and the November day when his great-aunt Lucasta Jones was abandoned by her lover, Tucson. In the final novella, Joubert's fatal visit to Williemain's Barbershop, where he is killed in a drive-by shooting, is recounted. On the scaffolding of these memories and events, Forrest hangs a multitude of anecdotes and moments of almost musical verbal invention. The inspired comic moments include an extended piece recounting Joubert's escape from a cult group led by Foster in the Holiday Inn, a cab ride with a white amateur boxer and her black girlfriend, and the strange dental practices of his Gram Gussie Jones.

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