Black Elvis: Stories

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In this funny, touching collection about music, identity, liars, and love, Geoffrey Becker brings us into the lives of people who have come to a turning point and lets us watch as they take, however clumsily, their next steps.

Black Elvis: Stories

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  • Black Elvis: Stories


In the title story, an aging black singer who performs only Elvis songs despite his classic bluesman looks has his regular spot at the local blues jam threatened by a newly arrived Asian American with the unlikely name Robert Johnson. In “Man Under,” two friends struggling to be rock musicians in Reagan-era Brooklyn find that their front door has been removed by their landlord. An aspiring writer discovers the afterlife consists of being the stand-in for a famous author on an endless book tour in “Another Coyote Story.” Lonely and adrift in Florence, Italy, a young man poses as a tour guide with an art history degree in “Know Your Saints.” And in “This Is Not a Bar,” a simple night on the town for a middle-aged guitar student and jazz buff turns into a confrontation with his past and an exploration of what is or is not real. In his depictions of struggling performers, artists, expectant parents, travelers, con-men, temporarily employed academics, and even the recently deceased, Becker asks the question, Which are more important: the stories we tell other people or the ones we tell ourselves? "These are wonderful stories, both humorous and deadly serious, and sometimes with a touch of magic as well. If you think you don't know these characters—in all their variations—you surely will before you are halfway through a page." -Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge

Additional Information

Author Geoffrey Becker
Publisher University of Georgia Press
Page Count 200pp
Publication Size 5.5 x 8.5
Publication Notes Hardcover
Publication Date October 15, 2009
ISBN 978-0820334103

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