On Sale: April 28, 2009
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The warm, funny, and supremely original new novel from one
of the most acclaimed writers in America
The year is 1985. Benji Cooper is one of the only black
students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. He spends
his falls and winters going to roller-disco bar mitzvahs,
playing too much Dungeons and Dragons, and trying to catch
glimpses of nudity on late-night cable TV. After a tragic
mishap on his first day of high schoolâ€”when Benji reveals
his deep enthusiasm for the horror movie magazine Fangoriaâ€”
his social doom is sealed for the next four years.
But every summer, Benji escapes to the Hamptons, to Sag
Harbor, where a small community of African American
professionals have built a world of their own. Because
their parents come out only on weekends, he and his friends
are left to their own devices for three glorious months.
And although heâ€™s just as confused about this all-black
refuge as he is about the white world he negotiates the
rest of the year, he thinks that maybe this summer things
will be different. If all goes according to plan, that is.
There will be trials and tribulations, of course. There
will be complicated new handshakes to fumble through, and
state-of-the-art profanity to master. He will be tested by
contests big and small, by his misshapen haircut (which
seems to have a will of its own), by the New Coke Tragedy
of â€™85, and by his secret Lite FM addiction. But maybe,
with a little luck, things will turn out differently this
In this deeply affectionate and fiercely funny coming-of-
age novel, Whiteheadâ€”using the perpetual mortification of
teenage existence and the desperate quest for reinventionâ€”
lithely probes the elusive nature of identity, both
personal and communal.
Charlie Rose - August 5, 2009
Tavis Smiley - June 12, 2009
Tell Me More - May 6, 2009
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