The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Featuring Raphael BosticLaVonna Lewis, Lisa Schweitzer, and Danielle Williams


In this edition of the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast, we’re continuing our conversation about race in America, from a slightly different angle. Walter Mosley, most known for his LA crime fiction, tackles aging and agency in this beautiful novel, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Ptolemy Grey is 91 years old and spends most of his time locked in a cluttered apartment in South LA hiding from rotten neighbors and the dangers of his neighborhood. When his grandnephew and part-time care taker is murdered, the family sends along a young woman to coax Ptolemy to the funeral. The two form a bond and suddenly Ptolemy has reason to want to live in the present and make good on some promises he made long ago. We examine the central choice of the novel and issues of aging in America.


Follow us on Twitter. Follow Raphael at @RaphaelBostic, Lisa at @drschweitzer, and Danielle at @BDanielleW

Podcast Transcription

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast discussion of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through Soundcloud or iTunes!

Next Month …


Between the World and Me cover


Tune in next time for a discussion of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This New York Times Bestseller is hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading.” This is a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history.


Links to things we talk about:

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago by Eric Klinenberg
Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam
Tuskeegee Experiment

Easy Rawlins – series

Of Further Interest:

Ptolemy - character map

Ptolemy - map of LA places

The Slate Academy – The History of American Slavery



This podcast is produced by Jonathan Schwartz and Aubrey Hicks.


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