Percival Everett

Born on December 22, 1956, in Fort Gordon, Georgia, Percival Everett is an American writer and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California. Everett graduated from the University of Miami with a philosophy degree and then pursued his masters in writing. While attending Brown University, he wrote his first book Suder (1983), a comedic tale about a third baseman for the Seattle Mariners who goes on a quest across the Pacific Northwest with an elephant and a young runaway to shake his player’s slump. Everett’s work has expanded beyond the novel, as he’s also written poetry, including re:f (gesture) in 2006 and Trout’s Lie in 2015, as well as short stories, including The Weather and Women Treat Me Fair: Stories (1987) and Half an Inch of Water (2015). He’s even dipped into children’s literature with his book The One That Got Away (1992), a story that follows three cowpokes in the Wild West. Everett’s work often reflects his interest in the American West, including his first book-length western published in 1994, God’s Country. 

Everett has held faculty positions in English departments at the University of Kentucky, Note Dame, Wyoming, University of California Riverside, and the University of California Los Angeles. He currently resides in California with his wife, Danzy Senna.  

Everett is the recipient of many awards, including the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, which honors Black writers in the United States for literary achievement, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, and Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for fiction. He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his book, Telephone (2020). His most recent work, Dr. No (2022), has received the PEN/Jean Stein Award, which honors a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact.