Damned If I Do

Percival Everett

21 March 2024
192 pages


Damned If I Do is a set of brilliantly postmodern short stories from Percival Everett, author of The Trees, Dr No and Erasure, now an Oscar-nominated film.

An artist, a cop, a cowboy, several fly fishermen and even a reluctant romance novelist inhabit these revealing and often hilarious stories. An old man ends up in a high-speed chase with the cops after stealing the car that blocks the garbage bin at his apartment building. A stranger gets a job at a sandwich shop and fixes everything in sight: a manual mustard dispenser, a mouthful of crooked teeth, thirty-two parking tickets and a sexual identity problem.

Everett skewers race, class, identity, surrealism and much more in this masterful short story collection from one of America's most inventive living writers.

Part of the Picador Collection, a series celebrating fifty years of Picador books and showcasing the best of modern literature.

Rooted in a profound sense of rural place, [the stories in Damned If I Do] are original and subtle, canny and soulful – full, too, of sublimely sardonic humour. As for its characters, they’re so multidimensional that their ethnicity is but one item on a long list of expectation-dashing attributes.
It's hard to pigeonhole Percival Everett. Working between the traditions of the academy and the African American tall tale, he writes with a sharp satirical voice
I think Percival Everett is a genius. He's a brilliant writer and so damn smart I envy him.