American Fiction: Key Differences Between the Book 'Erasure' and the Movie Starring Jeffrey Wright

Explore the major differences between Percival Everett's novel 'Erasure' and the film 'American Fiction' starring Jeffrey Wright.


Change of Setting

While the novel 'Erasure' is set in Washington, D.C., the movie 'American Fiction' takes place in the greater Boston area. In the film, Monk's family has a vacation home in a coastal town, whereas in the novel, their family vacations in a bungalow in Maryland.

The shift in setting adds a different atmosphere to the story and allows for unique visuals and locations in the movie adaptation.

Exploring Monk's Father's Affairs

Both the novel and movie touch upon Monk's late father's infidelity, but the novel delves deeper into this aspect. In the movie, Monk's sister Lisa discovers their father's affair, while in the novel, Monk himself uncovers the truth.

Additionally, the novel includes letters from Monk's father's lover, Fiona, which provide further insight into the affair. The movie omits Monk's half-sister Gretchen, who plays a role in the novel's storyline.

Changes in Character Deaths and Relationships

In the movie, Monk's sister Lisa dies from a sudden heart attack while dining at a restaurant. However, in the novel, she is tragically shot and killed at the women's health clinic where she works.

Monk's love interest also undergoes changes in the movie. Coraline, who is a lawyer, becomes his neighbor at the vacation house. In the novel, her character is originally named Marilyn Tilman and lives across the street from Monk's family in Maryland.


Exploration of Stagg R. Leigh's Novel

In the novel 'Erasure,' the complete text of Stagg R. Leigh's novel, initially titled 'My Pafology' and later changed to 'F--k,' is included. While the movie doesn't explore the entire book, there is a scene where Monk writes the novel while two characters from it act out a scene.

This inclusion provides a glimpse into the process of Monk's writing and the creative aspects of his satirical novel.