In addition to being a poor novelist whose writing isn’t black enough to boost sales, Monk is also a terrible college lecturer. Monk takes time off from his studies to visit his native Massachusetts for a book festival. There, he spots Sinatra, the affluent and well-known writer who gained notoriety for her essays about the risks of being Black in public spaces. Monk not only reconnects with his family but also forges relationships with his brother Clifford and sister Lisa. He also learns more about his mother Agnes, who has been diagnosed with dementia. When Lisa passes away unexpectedly, Monk’s world falls apart, and he is left to help Agnes in her hour of need. Inspired by a TV gang drama, the author sets out to finish Ma Pafology, a purposefully derogatory depiction of black life, as soon as possible. When Monk sends the piece to Arthur, his agency, he is shocked to hear that publishers are actually interested in it. A man who goes by the alias Stagg R. Leigh to conceal his identity is in financial abundance because he wants the money but isn’t yet ready to damage his image.