“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
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.
Black Buck: Spend a fun, engaging, and incredibly informative evening with Mateo Askaripour as he discusses his debut New York Times bestseller, Black Buck
This Great Hemisphere: Spend a fun, engaging, and incredibly informative evening with Mateo Askaripour as he discusses his sophomore novel, This Great Hemisphere, a confident departure from his debut novel.
“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
“An irresistible comic novel about the tenacity of racism in corporate America . . . [Black Buck] is alternately sly and sweet, a work of cultural criticism that laments and celebrates the power of money.” — Ron Charles, Washington Post
“Darkly comic . . . The message at the heart of this novel [is] very American, that the power is in the pitch . . . Black Buck is not unlike The Great Gatsby, in its own way.” — NPR, Weekend Edition
“This winning novel — or is it a self-help book? — opens with a striking proposition: ‘MLK, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Frederick Douglass were all salesmen’ . . . Teetering between biting satire and complete earnestness (interspersed throughout are callouts with real sales advice), Askaripour’s novel charts the unlikely metamorphosis of Darren Vender . . . [whose] quick wit provides cathartic delight.” — New York Times Book Review
“Mateo Askaripour’s voice is so fresh. The writing is so intimate. At moments, it’s satirical and funny and then at moments, it’s heartbreaking . . . The details are so intimate, spot on and beautiful. I found myself underlining constantly.” — Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show
“A combination of character study, searing indictment of all the problematics of white corporate culture, and some good old-fashioned enjoyable sarcasm.” — Entertainment Weekly, “The Best Books to Keep You Warm This January”
“Mateo Askaripour begins his debut, which follows Brooklyn-dwelling Darren as he’s plucked from his Starbucks manager job by a start-up CEO and crashed into a sales job as the only Black member of the company, with an author’s note that the book might be used as a reference by aspiring Black salesmen. It’s a satirical construct that informs this razor-sharp send-up of ladder-climbing office culture, and all the systemic and individual racism it perpetuates.” — Vanity Fair, “The Books and Totes That Will Get You Through This Winter”
“Askaripour wields a sharp satirical blade to deliver social commentary . . . He may have written the first satire that doubles as self-help.” — Los Angeles Times
“A must- read . . . Buck’s journey is one you should invest in for 2021 without question.” — BET, “Is Mateo Askaripour’s Debut Novel the Blackest Book of 2021?”
“A biting and brilliant novel, Black Buck is masterclass in self-reflection and meaningful satire.” — Shondaland, “The Best Five Books for January”
“Proceeds at breakneck speed . . . Black Buck weaves in commentary about gentrification, class, race, and the American dream in between its punchy jokes.” — O, the Oprah Magazine, “33 of the Best Beach Reads to Help You Escape”
“Rhapsodic and incisive, Black Buck is a journey into a post-racial dystopia born of tech-fueled greed and racial ignorance. In other words: It’s a doozy.” — Wired, “Picks for the 10 Books You Have to Read This Winter”
Instant New York Times Bestseller
A Ready with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick
Long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize
Long-listed for the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize
An Indie Next Pick
National Book Award 5 Under 35 Honoree
Finalist for The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award
Apple’s Best of January
Amazon’s Spotlight Best Pick of the Month
One of Entertainment Weekly’s “10 rising stars poised to make waves”
Cheddar News | A Journey of Self-Actualization in the Novel ‘Black Buck’
Brooklyn Museum | Writers on How Museums Fuel Their Creative Work
Los Angeles Times | Is ‘Black Buck’ the first racial satire that’s also self-help?
NPR Weekend Edition | Mateo Askaripour On His Darkly Comic Debut Novel
Porter House Review | Mateo Askaripour Speaks On Breaking into the Literary World with Black Buck
Amazon Book Review | An interview with Mateo Askaripour on his novel “Black Buck”
Real Fiction Radio Broadcast | Mateo Askaripour
Kirkus Reviews | Manual for the Black Employee in a White Office
PEN America | The Pen Ten: An Interview with Mateo Askaripour
New York Times Book Review | Cold-Calling Strangers Taught Mateo Askaripour How to Be a Writer
Entertainment Weekly | Breaking Big 2021
Interested in hosting this author?
Send us a message and an A|U Agent will return to you ASAP!