The Pardlos were an average, middle-class African American family living in a New Jersey Levittown- charismatic Gregory Sr., an air traffic controller, his wife, and their two sons, bookish Greg Jr. and musical-talent Robbie. But when "Big Greg" loses his job after participating in the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Strike of 1981, he becomes a disillusioned, toxic, looming presence in the household--and a powerful rival for young Greg. While Big Greg succumbs to addiction and exhausts the family's money, Greg Jr. rebels--he joins a boot camp for prospective Marines, follows a woman to Denmark, drops out of college again and again, and yields to alcoholism. Years later, he falls for a beautiful, no-nonsense woman named Ginger and becomes a parent himself. Then, he finally grapples with the irresistible yet ruinous legacy of masculinity he inherited from his father. In chronicling his path to recovery and adulthood--Gregory Pardlo gives us a compassionate, loving ode to his father, to fatherhood, and to the frustrating-yet-redemptive ties of family, as well as a scrupulous, searing examination of how African American manhood is shaped by contemporary American life.
- Publication Date:
- 15 / 04 / 2018