A new collection of short fiction from the Edgar Award-winning author of Devil in a Blue Dress and Trouble is What I Do.
With his extraordinary fiction and gripping television writing, Walter Mosley has proven himself a master of narrative tension. The Awkward Black Man collects seventeen of Mosley’s most accomplished short stories to showcase the full range of his remarkable talent. Touching, contemplative, and always surprising, these stories introduce an array of imperfect characters—awkward, self-defeating, elf-involved, or just plain odd.
In The Awkward Black Man, Mosley overturns the stereotypes that corral black male characters and paints subtle, powerful portraits of unique individuals. In "The Good News Is," a man’s insecurity about his weight gives way to illness and a loneliness so intense that he’d do anything for a little human comfort. "Pet Fly," previously published in the New Yorker, follows a man working as a mailroom clerk—a solitary job for which he is overqualified—and the unforeseen repercussions he endures when he attempts to forge a new connection. And "Almost Alyce" chronicles failed loves, family loss, alcoholism, and a Zen approach to the art of begging that proves surprisingly effective.
Mosley (Trouble Is What I Do) delivers a vibrant collection of 17 luminous stories, many with a focus on downtrodden and troubled protagonists. In "The Good News Is," a man plagued by weight issues starts losing weight. While his new confidence and appearance boost his love life, a diagnosis of abdominal cancer, the cause of his weight loss, puts a wrench in things. Almost as desperate is the Black mail room worker in "Pet Fly," who decides to branch outside his comfort zone and romance the "white girl" at work, with disastrous results. Albert, the loser alcoholic hero of "Almost Alyce," winds up on top after partnering with a shoplifter by distracting security. Frank, the doting husband in "Leading from the Affair," is so unhinged and damaged from the betrayal of his unfaithful wife that he commissions two therapists to untangle his misery. A fresh commentary on diversity and racial equality comes courtesy of the serpentine closing tale, "An Unlikely Series of Conversations," in which a bank teller aches for a new job, but decides that the one he has comes with perks he was unaware of. Each entry is a testament to Mosley's enduring literary power.
Mosley is the best ever
I have always liked Mr. Mosley. Now I love and revere him. I don’t even like short stories, but this book is now my favorite. Not my favorite Mosley book, my favorite book of all time.
It was ok
I’m glad I read it. Some stories were better than others, but it needed a great story. I do appreciate that they were all about awkward black men, that’s a pretty good description of me when I was younger!