The White Boy Shuffle

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Houghton Mifflin, 1996 - Fiction - 225 pages
Paul Beatty, on the basis of two slim collections of poetry - Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce - has been called "a West Coast word wizard" and the "poet laureate of Generation X". The White Boy Shuffle is a moving, deft satire on issues of race as well as the tale of the coming of age of Gunnar Kaufman, a contemporary African American who is in no way typical. Unequivocally and without apology, Gunnar states that he is not the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son. Indeed, he wishes he were, but fate has shorted him by six brothers and three uncles, cruelly cheating him out of his mythological inheritance. And thus, unforgettably, begins the story of Gunnar's rocky expedition to manhood. With his unparalleled ability to recreate the rhythms of everyday speech, to cut, mix, and recombine language in order to evoke a whole new world of experience, Paul Beatty here establishes himself as one of the most original and inventive writers of our time. A combination of literary and street, at once intimate and breathtakingly expansive, The White Boy Shuffle is a multicultural, multigenerational epic that is exuberant, engaging, and in the moment.

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User Review  - Kirkus

Hip-hop poet Beatty delivers a first novel that almost lives up to its hype. His manic energy and nothing-sacred sensibility add up to some inspired irreverence in a book mocking every sacred cow of ... Read full review

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User Review  - Tonstant.Weader - LibraryThing

Fabulous exciting writing. Reminds me of Ellison with his jazz influenced use of language. Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Paul Beatty is the author of two novels, "Tuff "and "The White Boy Shuffle," and two books of poetry, "Big Bank Take Little Bank" and "Joker, Joker, Deuce," He is the editor of "Hokum: An Anthology of African- American Humor," He lives in New York City.

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