Release Date: September 1, 2011
eBook Price: $7.99
In 1944, well before either is famous, Malcolm Little and Jack Kerouac are both living in upper Manhattan, dodging the war, smoking grass, digging jazz. They don't know each other, except maybe by sight, maybe becoming aware of each other at a Billie Holiday show, maybe not. One thing they do know: they're criminals. In this ambitious novel of multiple voices—male and female, black and white, gay and straight—Ted Pelton writes from the other side of history, about a generation that probably wasn't the greatest, and about the other stories that might be told.
"Fast, hypnotic, and heartfelt, Malcolm & Jack somehow manages to be frenzied and reflective, factual and speculative, all at once. A wild dash through an alternate American history." —George Saunders, author of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and In Persuasion Nation
"Malcolm & Jack is a moving, hip, and complex journey into not only American cultural, social, and political history, but also into the meaning of history itself. One senses the latter most profoundly when knowing that Malcolm X never met Jack Kerouac, but finding it difficult to resist Pelton’s compelling scene with Kerouac buying a drink for Malcolm X in a Detroit blues bar." —Jeffrey DiLeo, American Book Review
"The concept is a killer: a young unknown writer named Jack Kerouac meets a young pimp named Malcolm 'Detroit Red' Little, soon to be known as Malcolm X, at a Billie Holiday concert. This meeting might have actually taken place, though the story is entirely imagined. The treatment reminds me of Don DeLillo, which is to say it's not a straight-ahead narrative, and the medium is at least half of the message.... This is an absorbing treatment of a great premise." —Levi Asher, LitKicks.com
"In his novel Malcolm & Jack, the New York jazz scene of the 1940s comes to life as an electrifying world, one in which the cons and deals and impersonations are so entangled, no one is sure who is jiving whom. Malcolm X, Jack Kerouac, Billie Holiday and Allen Ginsberg converge with fictional creations, blurring the boundary between history and fiction. One has the impression of reading cultural history, regardless of the liberties Pelton takes with facts, because the account of this fertile period seems so vivid and characteristic. In ways not approached by journalistic accounts, Malcolm and Jack surrounds us with a period and a way of life, bringing America’s past of exuberance and violence to a new consciousness. This is remarkable work." —R. M. Berry, author of Leonardo's Horse and Dictionary of Modern Anguish
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ted Pelton is the author of three books in addition to Malcolm and Jack: the novellas Bartleby, the Sportscaster and Bhang, and the short story collection Endorsed by Jack Chapeau 2 an even greater extent, released in an expanded 2nd edition in 2006. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Isherwood Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center for his fiction, and a Best of Western New York award as Best Fiction Writer from Buffalo Spree magazine in 2006. His stories have appeared in WebdelSol, Brooklyn Rail, Fiction International, and in the anthologies The Art of Friction and The &Now Awards, among other venues. He is also the founder and publisher of Starcherone Books, a non-profit publisher of fiction that celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010. A Professor of Humanities at Medaille College, he lives in Buffalo, NY.