On the Durability of American Racial Satire

Matthew K. Ritchie in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

The anonymous setting of Mohsin Hamid’s 2022 novel The Last White Man brings with it a certain comfort. The British Pakistani author’s lack of specificity is purposeful: dropped into a nameless town in an unknown country, the reader has no cultural touchstones to grab onto, no societal baggage to carry. The blank slate leaves just one aspect to focus on, which Hamid homes in on with his first line: “One morning Anders, a white man, woke up to find he had turned a deep and undeniable brown.” This succinct statement of fact — a rarity in the novel — establishes the binary law of the land: you’re either white or dark, no in-between.

The Last White Man arrives at a precarious time in the world’s racial landscape. The tenets and language of the “Great Replacement” theory — the conspiratorial worldview that whites are being systematically replaced in society by nonwhites — are flooding the mainstream at a frightening rate.

More here.