This is a genuine, touching and darkly hilarious novel about a man granted a drug-based reprieve from his HIV death sentence. Ed Dell is gay, single and confidante to goddess Oprah Winfrey - at least in his fertile imagination. He writes for a Chicago newspaper, takes care of his ailing parents, and likes to annoy his snobbish sister. HIV-positive and very private, Ed has seen better days. With the new drugs working - and with Ed's parental obligations miraculously vanished - he suddenly, surprisingly has the chance to live again. If only he could remember how to...Then three men from Ed's past re-enter his life, and, each in his own way, instruct Ed in what it means to still be alive. "Planting Eli" is genuine, touching and very, very funny. Jeff Black brings gentle hilarity to the challenges of coming back from the dead.
"Planting Eli captures the human condition as lived today. It is far-fetchedly funny in places, yet mostly it brings the reader a bracing, artful dash of reality that lets one know he is not alone in this vale of worldly cares. It is what good novels used to be." - Daniel Curzon "Black's prose cleverly weaves a tale of a man who has lived his life avoiding the one thing he desires most - love. Planting Eli reminds us that the path to happiness is learning to be true to oneself. Black's brisk plotting and humorous tone instantly pulls us into the world of his protagonist." - Michael Holloway Perronne "Planting Eli roils with tart mischief. Jeff Black nails the post-diagnosis half-life of a complicated and fiercely independent man. Like Amaldovar, Black steers deftly from near-farce to hard-fought sorrow." - Richard House"