“I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.”

Article by keaton

Although a native New Yorker, when Colson Whitehead appears at Brazos on May 27, it will be a homecoming of sorts. Years ago, while lecturing at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, Colson actually lived with Brazos founder Karl Kilian, and we couldn’t be more excited about his return!

Since then, of course he’s gone on to write several of the most unique novels of our time and won numerous prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim and a MacArthur Fellowship (the “genius grant”). And he has never failed to intrigue. Whether dealing with warring factions of elevator operators in THE INTUITIONIST, exploring the influence of American folklore in JOHN HENRY DAYS, or using the zombie apocalypse as an allegory for the gentrification of NYC in ZONE ONE, Colson’s fiction is always riveting, socially-engaged and best of all...weird.

Now, with THE NOBLE HUSTLE, he focuses his prodigious talents on nonfiction, with an incredibly funny and insightful look at American culture through the lens of one of its strangest sporting spectacles--the World Series of Poker. “I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside,” Colson begins, initiating the reader on an absurd journey into his own private Republic of Anhedonia (a kind of personal mythological realm founded on “the inability to experience pleasure”). And so, what begins as a reporting assignment for the sports quarterly Grantland, becomes an existential odyssey of unsparing, hilarious self-deprecation, piercing social commentary and delicious delicious beef jerky. Even if you have no interest in poker per se, there is plenty to love about THE NOBLE HUSTLE. Actually, it’s less about poker than the lengths Americans will go to find excitement, diversion and success--and what that search says about us as people. You will laugh out loud and awkwardly cringe while reading this book, quite often on the same page. It’s the perfect book for sports fans as well as fans of cultural criticism and just plain good writing. I can’t recommend it enough.

Ante up and take a chance on THE NOBLE HUSTLE!

The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death By Colson Whitehead Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385537056
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Doubleday - May 6th, 2014

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