Black Buck
“Askaripour closes the deal on the first page of this mesmerizing novel, executing a high wire act full of verve and dark, comic energy.”

—Colson Whitehead, author of The Nickel Boys

“A hilarious, gleaming satire as radiant as its author. Askaripour has announced himself as a major talent of the school of Ralph Ellison, Paul Beatty, Fran Ross, and Ishmael Reed. Full of quick pacing, frenetic energy, absurd—yet spot on—twists and turns, and some of the funniest similes I’ve ever read, this novel is both balm and bomb.”

—Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People

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.

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  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358380887

  • ISBN-10: 035838088X

  • Pages: 400

  • Price: $26.00

  • Publication Date: 01/05/2021

  • Carton Quantity: 12

Mateo Askaripour
Author

Mateo Askaripour

MATEO ASKARIPOUR was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pastimes include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. Black Buck is his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.
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  • reviews
    One of Marie Claire's "29 Best New 2021 Books" 

    One of PopSugar's "Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2021" 

    One of SheReads' "The Best 12 Books of Winter" 

     

    “Askaripour closes the deal on the first page of this mesmerizing novel, executing a high wire act full of verve and dark, comic energy.” 

    —Colson Whitehead, author of The Nickel Boys 

     

    "A hilarious, gleaming satire as radiant as its author. Askaripour has announced himself as a major talent of the school of Ralph Ellison, Paul Beatty, Fran Ross, and Ishmael Reed. Full of quick pacing, frenetic energy, absurd—yet spot on—twists and turns, and some of the funniest similes I’ve ever read, this novel is both balm and bomb." 

    —Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People 

     

    “I fell in love with this book and Buck from the first page. Mateo has not only authentically captured the feeling of being seen as 'other,' but he’s also managed to delicately show the way in which so many people protect themselves by creating an alter ego out of self-preservation. Buck's journey is filled with heartache, laughter, fear, success, and karma.” 

    —Jay Ellis, actor, director, producer   

     

    "Black Buck  is a madcap look at compromises Black people make while trying to get ahead. When are you code-switching, and when is the code switching you? Mateo Askaripour didn't write a novel, he crafted a business book forged in the abyss as it stares back. It's a world that looks an awful lot like the hell we're in.” 

    —Rion Amilcar Scott, author of The World Doesn't Require You  

     

    "When Darren, our protagonist, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime, this unforgettable story sets off at lightspeed. Combining such humor, intelligence, heartbreak, and narrative skill in one book takes immense talent. Mateo Askaripour has accomplished this task with room to spare. Black Buck is an important treatise on Black ambition; Mateo Askaripour is an important writer, a voice we need. We should all look forward to what he produces next."

    —Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don't Belong

     

    "Black Buck is funny, sharp and carried by a voice that is entirely its own. This debut is ambitious and Askaripour’s daring pays off beautifully." 

    —Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black 

     

    “Askaripour eviscerates corporate culture in his funny, touching debut . . . A winning and layered bildungsroman.” 

    Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW 

     

    "Extraordinary . . . Askaripour has created a skillfully written, biting, witty, and absurdist novel that sheds light on racism, start-up culture, corporate morality, media bias, gentrification, and many other timely, important themes. Askaripour is an author to watch." 

    Booklist, STARRED REVIEW 

     

    “A first novel that satirically lays out the wretched excesses of turn-of-the-21st-century capitalism as it both enriches and disfigures a bright young Black man’s coming-of-age . . . jazzily discursive and rhythmically propulsive . . . with punchy, go-for-broke mother-wit.” 

    Kirkus Reviews 

     

    “Mateo Askaripour's Black Buck is set to send up the world of corporate America in this sharp debut about a young Black man who reinvents himself as a skilled salesman on a mission.” 

    PopSugar, “42 Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2021”  

     

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358380887

  • ISBN-10: 035838088X

  • Pages: 400

  • Price: $26.00

  • Publication Date: 01/05/2021

  • Carton Quantity: 12

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