A critical analysis of Percival Everett's oeuvre through the lens of Menippean satire
Percival Everett, a distinguished professor of English at the University of Southern California, is the author of more than thirty books on a wide variety of subjects and genres. Among his many honors are the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, the Huston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, and the Dos Passos Prize in Literature.
Derek C. Maus proposes that the best way to analyze Everett's varied oeuvre is within the framework of Menippean satire, which focuses its ridicule on faulty modes of thinking, especially the kinds of willful ignorance and bad faith that are used to justify corruption, violence, and bigotry. In Jesting in Earnest, Maus critically examines fourteen of Everett's novels and several of his shorter works through the lens of Menippean satire, focusing on how it supports Everett's broader aim of stimulating thoughtful interpretation that is unfettered by common assumptions and preconceived notions.
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Maus, Derek C. Jesting in Earnest: Percival Everett and Menippean Satire. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2019.