Percival Everett by Virgil Russell
The story unfolds inside a story as a man visits his aging father in a nursing home. Each man tells overlapping tales: A painter meets a long-lost daughter. A man named Murphy can’t distinguish between the brothers who employ him. And in Murphy’s troubled dreams, Nat Turner imagines the life of William Styron. Anecdotes from the nursing home intertwine and crest in a wild excursion of the inmates. All the while a running commentary from father and son anchors the shifting plotlines and sheds doubt on their truthfulness. A powerful meditation on the humiliations of old age, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell is an ingenious culmination of Everett’s recurring preoccupations. All of his metaphysical and philosophical inquiries, his investigations into the nature of narrative, have led to this, his most important and elusive novel to date.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
An entanglement of precise language, chimerical story and philosophic nuance.