Percival Everett by Virgil Russell

Percival Everett

05 October 2023
288 pages


Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist for the PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction

Percival Everett by Virgil Russell is a story inside a story inside a story. A man visits his ageing father in a nursing home, where his father writes the novel he imagines his son would write. Or is it the novel that the son imagines his father would imagine, if he were to imagine the kind of novel the son would write?

Not only is Percival Everett by Virgil Russell a powerful, compassionate meditation on old age and its humiliations, it is an ingenious culmination of Everett’s recurring preoccupations. All of his prior work, his metaphysical and philosophical enquiries, his investigations into the nature of narrative, have led to this masterful book.

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

[A] stark, shattering novel… This meta-fiction is deeply moving.
[Percival Everett is] so humanely adept at getting to the heart of the human condition. . . . Everett has created much more than an exercise in unreliable narration, an exploration of the nature of language and the rationales we create to keep ourselves going as we grow old. By the conclusion, every sentence, indeed every word, has come to seem like a valuable key, not just to this puzzle of a novel, but to the meaning of existence.
A potent and thoughtful exploration of the bonds between fathers and children.