Michael Datcher



Dr. Michael Datcher did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, his master’s at UCLA, and his PhD at UC Riverside in English Literature. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times Bestseller Raising Fences. The film rights were originally optioned by actor Will Smith’s Overbrook Productions, who hired Datcher to write the screenplay. Datcher is also the author of Animating Black and Brown Liberation: A Theory of American Literatures.


12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Senate Chamber
Shared History: Love, Obsession, and Mystery in Historical Fiction

1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing



What happens to fraternal love when identical twins stop being identical? To romantic love when indiscretions done in the dark have a secret witness? What happens to a family when the love that binds also strangles? Inspired by Egyptian mythology and young America’s coming-of-age story, AMERICUS follows the lives of rambunctious identical twins Asar and Set Americus. After Set contracts vitiligo (a skin disease that fades body pigmentation in patches), he goes from family favorite to stare-provoking freak at 10-years-old. When Set’s super-capable mother can’t keep her promise to cure him, Set blames her, but not more than she blames herself.

“... in an era of white mob violence that crested and broke in the early decades of the twentieth century, Michael Datcher weaves a narrative of three generations of sons trying to cultivate and maintain their manhood against relentless forces. Simultaneously a mythic novel and a historical one, AMERICUS is a story of the monsters that emerge from the monstrosities of American history. With this novel, Datcher joins August Wilson and Toni Morrison as an American storyteller.” - P. Gabrielle Foreman, Ned B. Allen Professor of English & Black Studies, The University of Delaware


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