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The Awkward Black Man
The Awkward Black Man
The Awkward Black Man

November 2020

The Awkward Black Man

Walter Mosley


  • “A vibrant collection of 17 luminous stories, many with a focus on downtrodden and troubled protagonists… Each entry is a testament to Mosley’s enduring literary power.”—Publishers Weekly

    Walter Mosley presents distinct characters as they struggle to move through the world in each of these stories—heroes who are awkward, nerdy, self-defeating, self-involved, and, on the whole, odd. He overturns the stereotypes that corral black male characters and paints a subtle, powerful portrait of each of these unique individuals. In “The Good News Is,” a man’s insecurity about his weight gives way to a serious illness and the intense loneliness that accompanies it. Deeply vulnerable, he allows himself to be taken advantage of in return for a little human comfort in a raw display of true need. “Pet Fly,” previously published in the New Yorker, follows a man working as a mailroom clerk for a big company—a solitary job for which he is overqualified—and the unforeseen repercussions he endures when he attempts to forge a connection beyond the one he has with the fly buzzing around his apartment. And “Almost Alyce” chronicles failed loves, family loss, alcoholism, and a Zen approach to the art of begging that proves surprisingly effective.

    Touching and contemplative, each of these unexpected stories offers the best of one of our most gifted writers.

    Genre: Short Stories
    DiversaTea: African American
    Published: 9.15.2020