The Son of Mr. Suleman

by Dickey, Eric Jerome

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A USA Today "20 Books We Can’t Wait to Read" Spring PickFrom New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey—named one of USA Today’s 100 Black Novelists and Fiction Authors You Should Read—comes his final work: an unflinchingly timely novel about history, hearts, and family. It’s the summer of 2019, and Professor Pi Suleman is a Black man from Memphis with a lot to endure—not only as a Black man in Trump’s America but in his hard-earned career as an adjunct professor. Pi is constantly forced to bite his tongue in the face of one of his tenured colleague’s prejudices and microaggressions. At the same time, he’s being blackmailed by a powerful professor who threatens to claim he has assaulted her, when in fact the truth is just the opposite, trapping him in a he-said-she-said with a white woman that, in this society, Pi knows he will never win.   When he meets Gemma Buckingham, a sophisticated entrepreneur who has just moved to Memphis from London to escape a deep heartbreak, things begin to look up. Though Gemma and Pi hail from separate cultures, their differences fuel a fiery and passionate connection that just may consume them both.   But Pi’s whirlwind romance is interrupted when his absentee father, a celebrated writer, passes away and Pi is called to Los Angeles to both collect his inheritance and learn about the man who never acknowledged him. With the complicated legacy of his famous father to make sense of, Gemma’s visa expiration date looming, and the threats of his colleague becoming increasingly intense, Pi must figure out who he is and what kind of man he will become in his father’s shadow.   In The Son of Mr. Suleman, Eric Jerome Dickey takes readers on a powerful journey exploring racism, colorism, life as a mixed-race person, sexual assault, microaggressions, truth and lies, cultural differences, politics, family legacies, perceptions, the impact of enslavement and Jim Crow, code-switching, the power of death, and the weight of love. It is an extraordinary story, page-turning and intense, and a book only Dickey could write.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Professor Pi Suleman teaches at a Memphis university by day and writes novels by night. He is the spitting image of his estranged father, whose literary oeuvre outshines Pi's own, much to his chagrin. Beyond that, Pi begrudgingly deals with the daily assault of microaggressions from bigoted Southern colleagues as well as the persistent threat of sexual assault from a privileged white colleague who uses Pi for her own ends, then threatens him with retaliation. The tide of injustice turns when Pi's father unexpectedly makes him his sole heir, and that financial security, along with a team of lawyers, help bring his abuser's transgressions to light. Romantically, Pi faces a hard choice: does he take a chance on a mysterious woman from London with too many secrets or take the safe route with the like-minded professor who lives across the street? Equal parts political and erotic, Dickey's posthumously published novel is a shining example of his skill at combining a compelling narrative voice, sharp social commentary, and poetic prose to create a complex tale featuring sensual characters with truly unique perspectives."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Romance
African American Fiction
Publisher Penguin Publishing Group2021
Language English
ISBN 9781524745257