Give My Love to the Savages
by Chris Stuck
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Pub Date 06 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2021
“A harrowing portrait of race relations in America, as beautiful as it is urgent.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Black satire with bite, like Zora Neale Hurston used to do, with a smile and a sharp elbow. A touch of Paul Beatty, a dose of Dolemite, and a serving of Dorothy Parker, too. Give My Love to the Savages announces Chris Stuck as a fearless talent, a debut that'll make your sides and your heart hurt.”—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling
“Give My Love To The Savages is a wildly inventive collection of provocative stories about navigating the minefield of black masculinity in America. Stuck’s fresh and fearless perspective overturns assumptions about race and identity to reveal complex layers of absurdity. At times merciless, always darkly funny, these are stories of unexpected communion, connection, and compassion.”—Chanelle Benz, author of The Gone Dead
A provocative and raw debut collection of short fiction reminiscent of Junot Diaz’s Drown.
A Black man’s life, told in scenes—through every time he’s been called nigger. A Black son who visits his estranged white father in Los Angeles just as the ’92 riots begin. A Black Republican, coping with a skin disease that has turned him white, is forced to reconsider his life. A young Black man, fetishized by an older white woman he’s just met, is offered a strange and tempting proposal.
The nine tales in Give My Love to the Savages illuminate the multifaceted Black experience, exploring the thorny intersections of race, identity, and Black life through an extraordinary cast of characters. From the absurd to the starkly realistic, these stories take aim at the ironies and contradictions of the American racial experience. Chris Stuck traverses the dividing lines, and attempts to create meaning from them in unique and unusual ways. Each story considers a marker of our current culture, from uprisings and sly and not-so-sly racism, to Black fetishization and conservatism, to the obstacles placed in front of Black masculinity and Black and interracial relationships by society and circumstance.
Setting these stories across America, from Los Angeles, Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest, to New York and Washington, DC, to the suburbs and small Midwestern towns, Stuck uses place to expose the absurdity of race and the odd ways that Black people and white people converge and retreat, rub against and bump into one another.
Ultimately, Give My Love to the Savages is the story of America. With biting humor and careful honesty, Stuck riffs on the dichotomy of love and barbarity—the yin and yang of racial experience—and the difficult and uncertain terrain Black Americans must navigate in pursuit of their desires.
Available on NetGalley
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