Debut author Mateo Askaripour‘s “raw and intimate” novel ☛BLACK BUCK [pub: Houghton Mifflin] releases today. If you’re thinking, “Wait. Isn’t ‘Black Buck’ offensive?” Yup. And it’s meant to be so. Not to mention the main character works at Starbucks, plus there’s the almighty Black dollar—all of which contribute to the provocative title. Can’t wait to finish this “hilarious, gleaming satire.” I’ll update this post when I do. Follow Mateo on Instagram and catch the Brooklyn-based author in conversation with Insecure’s Jay Ellis on Tue, Jan 12, 2021 9:00 PM EST. Also, Mateo is #TeamLawrence. The event is free, but support indie bookstores!
Black Buck Synopsis From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
For fans of Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street—a crackling, satirical debut novel about a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cult-like, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems.
There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.
An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.
After enduring a “hell week” of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as “Buck,” a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he’s hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.
Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America’s workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.