The Fugitivities: Book summary and reviews of The Fugitivities by Jesse McCarthy

The Fugitivities

by Jesse McCarthy

The Fugitivities by Jesse McCarthy X
The Fugitivities by Jesse McCarthy
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2021
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A singular and powerful debut novel about a young black American learning the difficulties of forming your own identity when society has already assigned you one.

Like most recent college graduates, Jonah Winters is unsure of what's next. A young black American raised in France and living in New York City, he tries on a couple of careers only to find that nothing feels right. And as Jonah struggles to envision his future, he feels pressured by his friends and family to put the struggles of his community before his search for self.

But then a chance encounter with an ex-NBA player with his own regrets, inspires Jonah to take his life into his own hands. Deciding to leave the country entirely, he sets off for Brazil. And as he makes and breaks friendships on the way, reflects on his past relationships, and learns to rely on himself, Jonah slowly forms an understanding of self, community, and freedom that is rarely afforded to young black men.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[C]aptivating...With its rich, lyrically drawn atmosphere...and incisive commentary, such as on the shifting fortunes of young white men in the city's literary scene, McCarthy's tale maintains an authentic feel. Readers are in very good hands with this smart, empathetic, and soul-searching writer." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An acclaimed African American essayist puts forth a first novel whose quirky romanticism, vivid landscapes, and digressive storytelling owe more to classic European cinema than conventional literature...An intellectually stimulating fiction debut." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In his insightful debut, writer, editor, and Harvard professor McCarthy explores the tension between community and individual perceptions of Black identity in different cultures...Superb storytelling." - Booklist

"The Fugitivities is an ambitious, debut novel that speaks to the deepest of vulnerabilities of the human condition: how we make sense of our identities as it relates to others and our stake and responsibilities in the world." - Morgan Jerkins, author of This Will Be My Undoing

"A gorgeous, virtuosic novel. In exquisite, often ecstatic, prose, McCarthy gives us a portrait of the artist as a black man—or rather, as a set of young black men, brothers and friends and rivals. This is blackness as it collides with class and love. Blackness in its uneasy relationship to Europe and the Americas. Blackness in all of its inner intricacy, tension, and beauty. Blackness shattered from the inside, each facet spinning, in McCarthy's own words, in 'a hypnotic dance like shards in a kaleidoscope.'" - Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift

This information about The Fugitivities shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jesse McCarthy

Jesse McCarthy has written for several publications including the New York Times, n+1, and the New Republic. He is a contributing editor at The Point and is an associate professor of English, African American, and African History at Harvard.

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