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A Lucky Man

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 288
Subject: Fiction
Illustrations: n/a

A Lucky Man

Jamel Brinkley

*FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION* Uncovering the inner lives of black men and boys, an expansive fiction debut from a major new voice compared to Alice Munro and Toni Morrison

Hardback(Preorder only)
9781788163217 (Published 6 Jun 2019)

About the book

'Full of subtle poignancy ... each story is a trenchant exploration of race and class, vividly conveying the tension between social codes of masculinity and the vulnerable, volatile self' New Yorker

In the nine unforgettable stories of A Lucky Man, Jamel Brinkley explores the unseen tenderness of black men and boys: the struggle to love and be loved, the invisible ties of family and friendship, and the inescapable forces of race, class and masculinity.

A teen intent on proving himself a man at an all-night rave is preoccupied by watching out for his impressionable younger brother. A pair of young men who follow two girls home from a party face the uncomfortable truth of their desires. An imaginative boy from the inner city goes swimming in the suburbs, and faces the effects of privilege in ways he can barely grasp. And at a capoeira conference, two brothers grapple with their painful family history.

Moving, lyrical and keen-eyed, A Lucky Man captures the inner lives of men and boys caught between hope and expectation, duty and desire.

About the author

Jamel Brinkley's writing has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018, A Public Space, Tin House and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University and lives in California. A Lucky Man is his first book.


Jamel Brinkley's stories tell of absence and abandonment, always edged with pain and beauty ... a magnificent debut

- Laila Lalami

Not only a standout debut for the year, but also a testament to what can be achieved in a short story.

- Chicago Review of Books

This is the rare debut that introduces not a promising talent but a major writer, fully formed. Jamel Brinkley is brilliant, the real thing, a revelation

- Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

Wonderful ... Brinkley's characters and their actions probe the questions at the heart of masculinity

- LA Review of Books

One of the many striking qualities in Brinkley's stories is how precarious his male characters tend to be ... extraordinary

- Paris Review

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 288
Subject: Fiction
Illustrations: n/a