....and no, its not in party n' bullshittin.
While toiling my days away in undergrad I had the pleasure of having Michael Thomas as one of my Literature professors.
Needless to say...I sat in the front row. Everyday. Even if I was Late. And woe be unto the hoe that tried to take my seat.
Bigger than his chiseled face and hot bod, Thomas was an amazing professor. He possessed a voracious ability to analyze and ferret out the hidden meanings in text; in a manner that was more akin to my Media studies classes more so than the average English course. Prof. Thomas had us reading Slave Narratives, something that I would've never picked up on my own. And because of this my understanding of what it means to be Black in America is what it is today.....minus my love for semi-ignorant rap songs (Halle Berrryy Halle Berry!!).While browsing my fave book store of all time McKnally back in 2007-ish, I was so excited to see that Prof. Thomas had published his first book MAN GONE DOWN.
“Man Gone Down” focuses on four increasingly desperate days in the life of an unnamed black narrator living in Brooklyn, whose marriage seems to be falling apart. Brilliant and troubled, he is on the eve of his 35th birthday but is broke, struggling not to lapse back into alcoholism and burdened by the knowledge he has fallen short of the promise he seemed to show as a younger man.Like a trend that you just picked up on, then started noticing it everywhere all of a sudden, this book was popping up on top 10 lists and most notably that of the New York Times Book Review.
So you can imagine how overjoyed I was for Prof. Thomas when he received the Impac Dublin Prize.... and by prize I mean somewhere around $138,00.
The Impac Dublin award is often described as “the largest and most international” literary prize in the world after the Nobel. It is open to fiction written in any language, with nominations made by libraries; in the 2009 competition, 157 libraries in 41 different countries offered 146 candidates. The prize, first awarded in 1996, was established by the Dublin city government and is financed by Impac, the multinational business consulting company.
Man Gone Down is currently in its fourth printing with 65,000 copies shipped. The Arts section of yesterday's NY Times ran a piece where Michael Thomas touches upon race in America since Obama, his plans for the future and the similarities between himself and Man Gone Down's protagonist. Peep the article.
Sending a major congrats and a 3-gun salute (buk, buk, buk) to Michael Thomas. We'll definitely be in touch as I will be ridin your coattails to THE TOP. Thank you and you're welcome.