Sign Up

Get the latest ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

All , Coverage

All Satire Coverage

Review by

First off, let’s address the elephant—or perhaps in this case, the elephant garlic—in the room: The Lemon is not “The Anthony Bourdain Story.”

Yes, it opens with a chef/food writer/TV host’s on-location death by suicide, which is discovered by his longtime best friend (also a famous chef). And while there are a few other passing similarities to Bourdain’s sudden and unexpected exit, The Lemon reads more like a bawdy Judd-Apatow-meets-Carl-Hiaasen romp than a roman a clef in the manner of Joe Klein’s Primary Colors.

Nothing in The Lemon is quite as it seems, starting with the author. S.E. Boyd is the nom de plume of a trio that includes James Beard Award-winning food writer Kevin Alexander, journalist Joe Keohane and book editor Alessandra Lusardi. It’s evident that they are comfortable moving about in high-end foodie and media circles, given their facility with dropping real-life names into the mix, from The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik to author Malcolm Gladwell. Even Bourdain himself makes a cameo, as if to ensure he is not mistaken for the deceased fictional chef, John Doe. 

Other names have been changed to protect the innocent (or at least to avoid legal consequences). Chef Paolo Cabrini stands in admirably for Bourdain’s restaurateur friend Éric Ripert, T. Kendall Sun-Ramirez is surely the doppelganger of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (The Food Lab), and Mark Fowler of the TV show “Top of the Morning” bears more than a passing resemblance to deposed “Today” host Matt Lauer.

But the four most significant names to note are Nia Greene, John’s longtime producing partner and agent; Paolo Cabrini, John’s aforementioned celebrity chef pal; Katie Horatio, aspiring journalist; and Charlie McCree, a cross between the Lucky Charms leprechaun and the demon spawn of Chucky. They, and their supporting cast, wrestle among themselves to control the narrative surrounding John’s death, because there’s a potential payoff in the post-Doe media tableau.

The dialogue crackles, the zip line plot slings the reader from one hilariously fraught incident to the next, and the conclusion is as emotionally satisfying as ever an author—or three—could have concocted. Like a perfectly seared slice of foie gras with a dollop of lingonberry jam on an artisanal toast point, The Lemon simply cannot be put down, and when you’ve finished it, you’ll want more.

The zip line plot of S.E. Boyd’s The Lemon slings the reader from one hilariously fraught incident to the next, and the conclusion is as emotionally satisfying as ever an author—or three—could have concocted.
Review by

Climate change takes center stage in three-time Pushcart Prize-winning author Allegra Hyde’s debut novel. Set in a future world of toxic air, food shortages and deadly weather, Eleutheria is the story of 22-year-old Willa Marks, who refuses to give up hope for a sustainable planet and a better life for all.

Raised by survivalist parents on canned foods in the woods of New Hampshire, Willa has lived a lonely life—until a bad turn of events thrusts her into the arms of her cousins Victoria and Jeanette in the metropolis of Boston. The two sisters are the antithesis of everything Willa has known, their entire life revolving around posting fashionable pictures online.

Willa goes with the flow until a photoshoot gone wrong brings her to Sylvia Gill, a famous sociologist and professor at Harvard University. Sylvia and Willa fall in love despite their stark differences. It’s a comfort and love that Willa has never experienced before. But being with Sylvia also means living among the privileged and wealthy, who still hold onto their vanity amid a dying planet.

Willa doesn’t understand this obliviousness. She eventually stumbles upon a group of Freegans, dumpster divers who are committed to saving the planet, come hell or high water. They inspire Willa, who wants Sylvia to use her celebrity to tout Freeganism as the answer to the climate crisis. This eventually causes a rift between the two as Willa struggles to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn’t support her cause for a better tomorrow.

In this highly emotional state of mind, Willa comes across a book in Sylvia’s library titled Living the Solution by Roy Adams. It seems to provide the salvation Willa is looking for by way of a sustainable community run by the author: Camp Hope, located on the island of Eleutheria near the Bahamas. Willa gives up everything, including Sylvia, to be part of the community—until even this Utopia starts showing imperfections.

Fast-paced and dramatic, Eleutheria is a love story that plays out against the backdrop of a planet in trouble. Hyde, author of the award-winning story collection Of This New World, offers many twists and shocks throughout her first novel, delivering an eerie prophecy of a not-so-distant future if we continue our inaction toward climate change.

Fast-paced and dramatic, Eleutheria is a love story that plays out against the backdrop of a planet in trouble.
Feature by

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Ingrid Rojas Contreras' impressive first novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, takes place in 1990s Bogotá, Colombia, when Pablo Escobar held the country in a grip of terror. The novel is narrated mainly by 7-year-old Chula Santiago, who lives with her family in the comfort of a gated community thanks to the money her father makes as an oil worker. When a maid named Petrona comes to work for the Santiagos, Chula befriends her. Petrona, who is 13, grew up in a slum. Terrorists kidnapped her father and brothers, and she is trying to support the rest of her family. As the situation worsens in Bagotá, Chula's family is able to leave. Petrona, meanwhile, becomes involved with a suspicious young man nammed Gorrión. Contreras juxtaposes the two girls' worlds with authenticity and covincing detail, and her portrayal of the social divisions and dangers of Colombian life is riveting and remarkably assured. 


French Exit by Patrick deWitt

Affluent widow Frances Price comes to terms with the loss of her fortune while her son meets up with the woman he loves—and her fiancé—in deWitt's sly, sophisticated novel.


Southernmost by Silas House

In House's latest novel, small-town pastor Asher Sharp upsets his congregation when he tries to help a gay couple after a disastrous flood, an act that affects his relationship with his conservative wife and their young son and makes Asher question his own faith.


Still Livesby Maria Hummel

Kim Lord's self-portraits, inspired by female murder victims are the talk of the LA art scene. But when Kim goes missing, a young editor becomes enmeshed in the mystery of this stylish, suspenseful thriller. 


Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively
In this delightful, beautifully wrought memoir, Lively meditates on how gardening has impacted her personal evolution and her work. 

 

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras Ingrid Rojas Contreras' impressive first novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, takes place in 1990s Bogotá, Colombia, when Pablo Escobar held the country in a grip of terror. The novel is narrated mainly by 7-year-old Chula Santiago, who lives with her family in the comfort of a […]
Feature by

Starred review
The story of a friendship that spans decades and continents, Frances de Pontes Peebles’ The Air You Breathe is the perfect poolside read. The novel is narrated by wealthy, elderly Dores, who recalls her childhood in the 1930s on a sugar plantation in Brazil and her strong connection with Graça. Dores works in the kitchen, while Graça, whose family owns the plantation, enjoys all the advantages money can provide. The two girls become close, develop a passion for music and move to Rio. Dores proves to be a gifted songwriter, while Graça is a singer of rare talent. Making herself over as Sofía Salvador, Graça becomes a samba queen of world renown. The novel charts the course of the two friends’ lives—years marked by competitiveness and jealousy, romantic affairs and mutual love. De Pontes Peebles moves skillfully through eras and settings, from Miami to Rio to Hollywood, capturing the essence of each. Fans of Elena Ferrante will find much to relish in this richly realized tale.

So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Berni`eres
De Bernières traces the lives of army pilot Daniel Pitt; Rosie, to whom he’s unhappily married; and his brother, Archie, who’s in love with Rosie, in this richly detailed historical novel set in the 1920s and ’30s.

A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen
New York City professor Andrei finds himself reassessing his life while attempting to get his bearings as he cares for his grandmother in Moscow.

The Reservoir Tapes by John McGregor
In this innovative novel, a reporter talks with the town’s inhabitants about the days leading up to a teenage girl’s disappearance. The process of grieving, the importance of storytelling and the bonds of community all come into play in McGregor’s poignant story.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Alex and Suzette have tested their 7-year-old, Hanna, for a range of disabilities, but in truth, Hanna enjoys causing Suzette grief by not speaking. The fraught relationship between mother and daughter takes a twisted turn in this disturbing novel.

Starred review The story of a friendship that spans decades and continents, Frances de Pontes Peebles’ The Air You Breathe is the perfect poolside read. The novel is narrated by wealthy, elderly Dores, who recalls her childhood in the 1930s on a sugar plantation in Brazil and her strong connection with Graça. Dores works in the […]
Feature by

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
A 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers is a poignant novel of the AIDS epidemic that follows a Chicago-based group of friends who are contending with the rise of the disease in the 1980s. Yale Tishman is planning a major art show, but his success is overshadowed by the deaths that are sweeping through the gay community. As he weathers the loss of colleagues and companions, his closest confidante is Fiona, the sister of his late friend Nico. Thirty years later, Fiona is searching for her daughter, Claire, in Paris. Her relationship with Claire is a fraught one, and Fiona struggles to make sense of it while continuing to process the heartbreak of the epidemic. Makkai skillfully connects the plotlines of the past and present, exploring the fears and misconceptions connected to the epidemic and demonstrating their impact on her characters. Filled with larger-than-life personalities, Makkai’s wise and compassionate novel bears witness to an important era.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ayoola has a habit of dispatching her boyfriends, and she relies on her sister, Korede, to help her tidy up after each murder. Braithwaite’s multilayered, darkly funny novel explores the power of desire and female agency.

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
Tokarczuk, one of Poland’s most beloved writers, tackles identity, travel and the nature of home in these breathtaking short essays and stories.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy by Anne Boyd Rioux
Rioux provides insights into the life of Louisa May Alcott and the writing of Little Women, examining the novel’s enduring appeal and its contemporary significance.

The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher
Schumacher’s satirical take on academia—its complexities and insular nature—feels spot on, and she offers an appealing protagonist in Jason Fitger, a long-suffering English professor.

★The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai A 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers is a poignant novel of the AIDS epidemic that follows a Chicago-based group of friends who are contending with the rise of the disease in the 1980s. Yale Tishman is planning a major art show, but his success is […]

They say it’s harder to make people laugh than it is to make them cry. Maybe this is why finding a book that makes you laugh—and we’re talking full-on guffaw here—is so difficult. We’ve done the hard work for you, so sit back and get ready to chuckle.

Priestdaddy

Usually when a poet pens a memoir, I buckle up for lyrical vignettes, a loose, dreamy structure and descriptions of open fields. But Patricia Lockwood isn’t your average poet, and Priestdaddy isn’t your average memoir. It’s as dense with bizarre observations about her father’s underwear as it is with beautiful turns of phrase about her father’s underwear. When Lockwood’s husband needed unexpected eye surgery, the pair returned to the Midwest to live with Lockwood’s parents in their rectory. Her father, you see, is a Catholic priest, despite his wife and five children. The rest of the book zigzags between this weird family reunion and Lockwood’s even weirder Catholic upbringing, filtered through the mind of someone who is herself breathtakingly weird. The resulting memoir is at once brilliant, irreverent, extraordinarily observed and precisely rendered.

—Christy, Associate Editor


The Wednesday Wars

I’ve never laughed harder at a book than I did at The Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt’s 2008 Newbery Honor-winning tale of seventh grader Holling Hoodhood, set in the late 1960s. In one chapter, Holling’s teacher, Mrs. Baker, assigns The Tempest. Holling is so impressed by Caliban’s “cuss words” that he decides to memorize them. He employs them in situations ranging from the cafeteria, where he deems his bologna sandwich “strange stuff,” to chorus, where he retorts, “Blind mole, a wicked dew from unwholesome fen drop you” after getting teased for singing soprano, to an encounter with his older sister. “A southwest blow on ye and blister you all o’er,” he tells her. Holling doesn’t mind that he doesn’t know exactly what he’s saying: “It’s all in the delivery anyway.”

—Stephanie, Associate Editor


The Sellout

There’s dark humor, and then there’s black hole-dark humor, and from that deep, crushing vacuum comes the biggest joke of all, a “post-racial” America. Paul Beatty’s Booker Prize winner is perhaps the greatest satirical novel of our lifetime, if not the greatest ever. The absurdity is beyond anything you’ve ever read; the wordplay is the cleverest, and Beatty’s irreverence the farthest star from political correctness. After the death of his father, our farmer hero, whose name is Me, finds himself as a crisis interventionist for the Black residents of Dickens, a town on the outskirts of Los Angeles that has been erased from the map. Despite Me’s protestations, an old Dickens resident (and former “Little Rascals” star) begs to be Me’s slave, punishments and all, and all he wants for his birthday is resegregation. Laugh to keep from crying, or cry to keep from laughing.

—Cat, Deputy Editor


China Rich Girlfriend

Kevin Kwan’s frothy novels of Asia’s ultrarich would just be compendiums of designer labels and other assorted decadences if not for his willingness to lovingly mock the society he invites the reader into. This is perfectly encapsulated by Colette Bing, a bundle of nervous energy swaddled in haute couture who darts through the second book of Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series, China Rich Girlfriend. Colette is on a relentless quest to perfect every aspect of her existence. She named her dogs after Kate and Pippa Middleton and has the uniquely chaotic attitude of a person who has never encountered a problem she couldn’t buy her way out of. Kwan revels in her precisely orchestrated decadence and lampoons her absurdity in equal measure, creating a character you’ll love as much as laugh at.

—Savanna, Associate Editor


When in French

Think David Sedaris meets Jhumpa Lahiri, and you’ve got the gist of this smart, hilarious and tender memoir from New Yorker writer Lauren Collins. How did a woman from Wilmington, North Carolina, end up married to a Frenchman “who used Chanel deodorant and believed it to be a consensus view that Napoleon had lost at Waterloo because of the rain”? The story of their romance and Collins’ journey to fluency in French sits companionably alongside a thoughtful inquiry into the history of language. Pairing these two elements gives Collins’ experience universal resonance and intellectual weight, but there’s also a laugh on nearly every page as she recounts various linguistic misadventures, like informing her mother-in-law that she has given birth to a Nespresso machine. Lovers of language, romance and fish-out-of-water comedies shouldn’t miss it.

—Trisha, Publisher

They say it’s harder to make people laugh than it is to make them cry. Maybe this is why finding a book that makes you laugh—and we’re talking full-on guffaw here—is so difficult. We’ve done the hard work for you, so sit back and get ready to chuckle. Priestdaddy Usually when a poet pens a […]
Review by

In the opening chapters of Dave Eggers’ latest chilling novel, we get a glimpse at a dystopian future in which privacy is a thing of the past and humankind is completely in the thrall of technology. True connection and meaningful communication are withering away. Even the secretary of state tweets dancing rainbow emoji from the official U.S. Department of State account.

At the center of this new world order is the Every, a megacorporation that has acquired Amazon, all the major search engines and social media platforms, and thousands of other companies. Enter Delaney Wells, a young idealist (is there any other kind?) whose parents lost their small-town Idaho store to the Every and now must work for the Every’s Whole Foods-esque grocery service. Delaney believes the Every is “not only a monopoly but also the most reckless and dangerous corporate entity ever conjured—and an existential threat to all that was untamed and interesting about the human species.”

Delaney’s goal is to tear down the Every from the inside. She gets a job at its headquarters and enters an otherworldly corporate culture where everyone dresses the same, steals each others’ ideas and pledges cultlike allegiance to the Every. Delaney begins proposing increasingly outlandish ideas: How about an app that listens to your conversations, tracks the participants’ vital signs and assesses the quality of the interaction? Or artificial intelligence that measures art so we no longer need to decide for ourselves whether “The Last Supper” is beautiful? Or an app called HappyNow? that tells you whether you’re happy with your recent purchases?

To Delaney’s horror, the more ridiculous her pitches, the more enthusiasm they generate, both within the Every and among consumers. She realizes her plan to turn public opinion against the monolithic company has just one flaw: Consumers no longer care about privacy or free will.

Eggers has long established his almost supernatural storytelling skills, and this new book is positively mesmerizing and wholly original. The Every, a companion book to The Circle, will likely scare the bejesus out of readers. The vivid future he depicts feels fantastical but just realistic enough to make you want to unplug your smart speaker and toss your fitness watch.

Unplug your Alexa and toss your Apple Watch. The Every, a companion book to The Circle, will likely scare the bejesus out of you.
Review by

Laura Hankin’s A Special Place for Women has a ripped-from-the-headlines hook: It’s heavily based on the controversial, real-life, women-only coworking space the Wing and related critiques of “girl boss” feminism, a phrase that diminishes women’s authority while masquerading as empowerment.

Narrator Jillian Beckley is an unemployed journalist from an unsexy part of Brooklyn who recently lost her mom. Jillian doesn’t have any female friends to speak of, but there are two men in her life: her childhood neighbor, who is New York’s hottest new chef, and a magazine editor on whom she has a crush. In a convoluted plan to impress the editor, Jillian pretends she is dating the chef in order to gain access to an elite club of powerful women called Nevertheless.  

This part of the story is similar to the movie Mean Girls, as Jillian initially mocks these out-of-touch women but quickly finds herself under their spell. Much of the novel alludes to possibly sinister goings-on at Nevertheless; Jillian worries that the organization is a shadowy cabal that ruins its enemies. At this, the reader may wonder if the novel is an overwrought sendup of the #girlboss culture that lauds female billionaires. After all, is there anything original left to say about wealthy, status-seeking women and the corrupting influence of power? 

But then, halfway through A Special Place for Women, a creative twist makes these events delightfully complex. This is where Hankin shows her range as a writer: The book you think you’re reading turns into something else entirely.

Admirably, the class analysis in A Special Place for Women is more finely tuned than most novels with an outsider-masquerading-as-an-insider storyline. That’s largely due to Jillian’s rock-solid millennial Everywoman voice, which allows her to stay relatable amid escalating bizarre circumstances. 

A Special Place for Women is a slow burn that’s ultimately fun, fresh and entirely worthwhile.

Halfway through A Special Place for Women, the book you think you’re reading turns into something else entirely.
Review by

Debut author Mateo Askaripour frames his novel, Black Buck (11 hours), as a “how-to” manual for fellow Black workers that reveals the secrets of the narrator’s success. This framing device is particularly well suited to the audiobook format, as its similarity to motivational tapes subtly adds to the novel’s rich satirization of the bizarre and toxic realm of white startup culture. 

Narrator Zeno Robinson strikes just the right balance in his performance of protagonist Darren Vender’s first-person narrative, hitting both his swaggering cockiness and subsequent regret with equal sensitivity. Robinson also exhibits commanding range with other characters, including Darren’s mom and girlfriend and his white colleagues at the startup. Fast-paced, funny and dark, Askaripour’s stellar debut doesn’t let up in its takedown of corporate racism.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: How Mateo Askaripour climbed the corporate ladder, then spun what he learned into fiction gold.

Mateo Askaripour’s novel is well suited to the audiobook format, as its similarity to motivational tapes adds to the novel’s satirization.

In his debut novel, Mateo Askaripour offers a witty yet thrilling examination of the complexities of race in corporate America. The novel centers on Darren Vender, a 22-year-old Black man who shares a Brooklyn brownstone with his mother and works as a shift leader at Starbucks. Despite graduating at the top of his high school class, Darren did not go to college and seems to lack ambition. That changes after a chance encounter with Rhett, the CEO of a buzzy tech startup called Sumwun, who invites Darren into the ruthless world of corporate sales.

At Sumwun, Darren’s attempt to climb the corporate ladder is met with multidimensional racist resistance. Sumwun’s director of sales and Darren’s direct supervisor, Clyde, is a quintessential racist. He disproportionately criticizes Darren and employs incredibly demeaning language while doing so. However, Sumwun also features more subtle forms of racism. For example, white employees often remark that Darren resembles Black celebrities who look nothing like Darren—and who look wildly different from each other.

While fighting for his upward mobility at Sumwun, Darren risks alienating his family, friends and himself. Eventually, an unfortunate incident rattles the foundation of Sumwun and sends Darren on a life-changing and culture-shifting journey that is full of twists, turns and some truly profound messages.

Black Buck is an ambitious book. While being an intellectual and captivating work of satire, it also serves as an instruction manual for Black and brown people working in white-dominated spaces. Askaripour embeds tokens of wisdom in his well-crafted plot and delivers direct messages of advice and encouragement to readers. There is great risk in such ambition, but Askaripour is a fine writer and superbly executes his vision.

This is an entertaining, accessible and thorough look at America's race problem, a book both of the moment and one for all seasons. It’s a necessary read for those living under the weight of oppressive systems as well as for those looking to better understand their complicity within them.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: How Mateo Askaripour climbed the corporate ladder, then spun what he learned into fiction gold.

In his debut novel, Mateo Askaripour offers a witty yet thrilling examination of the complexities of race in corporate America.

After learning what it takes to make it in the corporate world, Mateo Askaripour spins that knowledge into gold in his riotous first novel.

“You’re likely in for a wild ride, and you will make mistakes,” says author Mateo Askaripour via Zoom from his home in Brooklyn, New York. “But as long as you learn from them and don’t judge yourself too harshly, you can retain a sense of self and still succeed.”

Askaripour’s comments reflect the central message of his debut novel, Black Buck, in which a young Black man named Darren attempts to navigate the punishingly racist corporate tech world without losing either himself or the love of his friends and family. With a complex yet accessible plot, rich characters and Askaripour’s sharp wit, Black Buck is a page-turning satirical examination of corporate racial struggle. And with its tips and tricks for achieving success in white-dominated spaces, the book also acts as an instruction manual for Black and brown corporate climbers.

“I wrote this book so that anyone who reads it, especially Black and brown people, would be able to take away a few gems on how to advance their own lives and the lives of those who they love.”

Askaripour’s professional life began in the same corporate tech world that he thoroughly deconstructs in his novel. The Long Island native was a prodigy of sorts, moving from intern to director of sales at a tech startup within a year. When he needed an outlet from the fast-paced and ruthless world of sales, he turned to the written word. His first two attempts at a novel fell short of the mark. Then in late 2017, he decided to write from experience.

“I realized that writing something that felt true to me meant that I couldn’t shy away from the things that were closest to me in my life,” he explains. Namely, sales, race and startups. In Black Buck, Darren’s quest to establish himself in sales causes internal and external turmoil. Forced assimilation, intrusive demands on his time and the stresses of racism create rifts in his relationships, self-identity and sense of control. There are moments when the reader struggles to determine whether Darren is a hero or a villain. That’s not a sign of any misstep on Askaripour’s part, though. Rather, it reflects the existential battle that Black and brown people face in these environments.


ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: The unique format of Black Buck makes for a great audiobook.


“There were times when I felt like I was mad powerful,” Askaripour says of his sales days. “I was 24 years old, managing 30 people and making over $100K. I had all these people looking up to me. In those moments, it’s so easy to forget that you’re Black. It was so easy to forget because you have some money and people are looking up to you. But then there were times when I’d hire a new person, a white man or woman, and I could tell that the first time I would ask them to do something or tell them to do something, they’d look at me strangely. Years later, I began to understand what those initial looks meant. They were saying, I gotta listen to a Black person? Especially this dude? Some of them never had to listen to a Black person in their life before, or even a person of color.”

Black Buck book coverAs Darren climbs the corporate ladder, some of the racism he encounters is overt, while other forms are stealthily inscribed into the culture of the company. Reflecting both his empirical understanding of the problem and his writing talent, Askaripour does an incredible job of showing how companies often use Black culture as a source of inspiration and mobilization while at the same time generating an internal culture of intolerance for Black people.

“They have this cognitive dissonance where they will take Black culture and use it to energize and further their interests, but how many Black people do they know?” he says. “And how willing are they to sit back and ask themselves whether they are helping or hurting these people that they never really think about?”


ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our starred review of Black Buck.


Despite its grounding in racial strife, Black Buck is not a pessimistic novel at all. The African diasporic philosophy “each one, teach one” undergirds the book. Brought to America from West Africa, “each one, teach one” suggests that African Americans who have effectively navigated racial subjugation should guide and open doors for others in their community.

“I think we need to realize that until we’re in a position where Black and brown people are giving other Black and brown people those life-changing opportunities at such an exponential rate, there is going to be an obvious disparity, and there is going to be an imbalance. And that needs to change,” Askaripour says. “The ‘each one, teach one’ mentality is definitely a way to change that.”

For Askaripour, Black Buck is a form of service, an intentional attempt to positively affect the material circumstances of Black and brown people. “I wrote this book so that anyone who reads it, especially Black and brown people, would be able to take away a few gems on how to advance their own lives and the lives of those who they love,” he says. “It doubles as a sales manual for that very real reason. I feel hopeful that if someone reads this book and understands its journey, they would be able to better their lives and probably get an entry-level sales job. Yeah, man, ‘each one, teach one’ is not just essential to the book. It’s at the core of my life right now.”

 

Author photo by Andrew “FifthGod” Askaripour

After learning what it takes to make it in the corporate world, Mateo Askaripour spins that knowledge into gold in his riotous first novel, Black Buck.

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Recent Reviews

In Southernmost, novelist Silas House tells the story of Asher Sharp, a young preacher living in rural east Tennessee with his wife, Lydia, and their adolescent son, Justin. After a violent flood tears through their town, Asher provides shelter for a gay couple despite the religious conservatism of the area. Asher’s generosity is influenced in part by the immense guilt that remains from rejecting his gay brother, Luke, many years prior.

Laura Amy Schlitz’s Newbery Medal-winning novel, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, immersed readers in the sights, sounds and smells of medieval life, warts and all. Her masterfully constructed Amber & Clay transports young readers to ancient Greece, a place with serious inequality and injustice where young people could become part of history and where ghosts and gods walk the mortal world.

Three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin’s Undefeated charts the rise of Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and All-American fullback for the Carlisle Indians, one of the most innovative football teams ever to take the field. Despite its focus, readers need not be sports fans to enjoy this book.

Author Interviews

Recent Features

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!