Nelson Eubanks The First Thing Smoking

ISBN 13: 9780345451798

The First Thing Smoking

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9780345451798: The First Thing Smoking

In dazzling, jazzlike prose that pulses with the rhythm of the street, Nelson Eubanks traces the influences on and evolution of Maceo, from impressionable adolescent to twentysomething man—each interconnected story is a snapshot of memory bursting with emotion.

In “Malta Scheffer,” nine-year-old Maceo slips out of a white world of private schools to fade back into his brown world, where stickball and dreams of glory just may provide the ticket out of poverty. “The First Thing Smoking” explores the prejudice and hatred that exist within a family, when skin color varies between darker and lighter shades of black. “Avenida Atlântica” depicts an older Maceo, now in Brazil, as he tries to escape his growing awareness of lust and desire as well as the racial strife and violence of his childhood.

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From the Back Cover:

“Nelson Eubanks’s debut marks the arrival of a truly original voice: incantatory, serpentine, and remarkably elastic. In his first [story] collection, Eubanks manages to serve up humor, menace, and pathos, not to mention flawless dialogue, in a style distinctly his own.” –JENNIFER EGAN, Author of Look at Me

“Nelson Eubanks’s stories are a quest for the truth. Writing of class in a high school or carnival in Brazil, his search for racial identity rings true. The First Thing Smoking is a stunning collection by a gifted writer with an urgent voice that confronts the reader with outrage, yet is often forgiving.” –MAUREEN HOWARD, Author of The Lover’s Almanac

“With the kind of eloquence, range, and excruciating beauty most often associated with jazz, Nelson Eubanks has given us a gift: stories of tender and brutal honesty. Written in a style that is as lush as a rain forest, The First Thing Smoking offers a stark look at family, race, love, betrayal, and America. This is fiction that gets beneath the skin. Nelson Eubanks is the real deal.” –BINNIE KIRSHENBAUM, Author of Hester Among the Ruins

“Nelson Eubanks explores racial, familial, and sexual politics amid an astute geographic and sensual longing. His prose is explosive; he generates heat. This is an exciting debut.” –JOANNA HERHSON, Author of Swimming and The Outside of August

“Nelson Eubanks is a penetrating writer, a fine storyteller, and an astute observer of the world.” –COLIN CHANNER, Author of Waiting in Vain

From the Inside Flap:

Here is a provocative and fresh new voice in fiction, and a stunning collection of seventeen interconnected short stories set in the urban and exotic locales of New York City and Brazil. In dazzling, jazz-like prose that pulses with the rhythm of the street, Nelson Eubanks traces the influences on and evolution of Maceo, from impressionable adolescent to twentysomething man?each snapshot of memory bursting with event and emotion.

In ?Malta Scheffer,? nine-year-old Maceo slips out of a white world of private schools to fade back into his brown world where stickball and dreams of glory just may provide the ticket out of poverty. ?The First Thing Smoking? explores the prejudice and hatred that exist within a family, when skin color varies between darker and lighter shades of black. In ?Uncle Raymond? eighteen-year-old Maceo learns about his uncle who once showed such musical promise, but later, inexplicably, descended into mental illness. ?Avenida Atlântica? and ?A Lie in Seven Parts? depict an older Maceo, as he tries to escape his growing awareness of lust and desire as well as the racial strife and violence of his childhood that has peppered the towns of Brazil.

Emerging family secrets, changing neighborhoods, the politics of class and education, the disintegration of relationships, waning passions?Nelson Eubanks seamlessly blends these powerful themes into a rich work of fiction. The First Thing Smoking heralds the arrival of a powerful and nuanced literary talent.
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Nelson Eubanks
Published by One World/Ballantine (2004)
ISBN 10: 0345451791 ISBN 13: 9780345451798
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Eubanks, Nelson
Published by One World/Ballantine (2004)
ISBN 10: 0345451791 ISBN 13: 9780345451798
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