MCD If I Survive You
MCD If I Survive You

If I Survive You

By Jonathan Escoffery

$27.00

Publication Date: September 6, 2022

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"If I Survive You is a collection of connected short stories that reads like a novel, that reads like real life, that reads like fiction written at the highest level. This is where Jonathan Escoffrey's career begins. There are no limits to where he will go." —Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

"Kaleidoscopic, urgent, hilarious, revelatory and like nothing you've read before." —Marlon James, author of Moon Witch, Spider King

A major debut, blazing with style and heart, that follows a Jamaican family striving for more in Miami, and introduces a generational storyteller.

In the 1970s, Topper and Sanya flee to Miami as political violence consumes their native Kingston. But America, as the couple and their two children learn, is far from the promised land. The family pushes on first through Hurricane Andrew and later the 2008 recession, living in a house so cursed that the pet fish launches itself out of its own tank rather than stay. But even as things fall apart, the family remains motivated, often to its own detriment, by what their younger son, Trelawny, calls “the exquisite, racking compulsion to survive.”

Masterfully constructed with heart and humor, the linked stories in Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You centers on Trelawny as he struggles to carve out a place for himself. After a fight with Topper—himself reckoning with his failures as a parent and his longing for Jamaica—Trelawny claws his way out of homelessness through a series of odd, often hilarious jobs. Meanwhile, his brother, Delano, attempts a disastrous cash grab, and his cousin, Cukie, looks for a father. As each character searches for a foothold, they never forget the profound danger of climbing without a safety net.

Pulsing with vibrant lyricism and inimitable style, sly commentary and contagious laughter, Escoffery’s debut unravels what it means to be in between homes and cultures in a world at the mercy of capitalism and white supremacy. With If I Survive You, Escoffery announces himself as a prodigious storyteller in a class of his own, a chronicler of American life at its most gruesome and hopeful.

About the Author

Jonathan Escoffery is the recipient of the 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction. His fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, American Short Fiction, Prairie Schooner, AGNI, Passages North, Zyzzyva, and Electric Literature, and has been anthologized in The Best American Magazine Writing. He received his MFA from the University of Minnesota, is a PhD fellow in the University of Southern California’s Creative Writing and Literature Program, and in 2021 was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University.

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket

Length: 272 pages

Publisher: MCD

Publication Date: September 6, 2022

ISBN: 9780374605988

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