Washington Square Press
On Sale: July 17, 2018
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
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Do the Right Thing meets The Bonfire of the
Vanities, in this “thrilling debut novel about marriage,
gentrification, parenthood, race, and the dangerous bargains
we make with ourselves” (Ann Packer, New York Times
bestselling author) set over the course of one
cataclysmic day when riots erupt in a rapidly gentrifying
Aaron, a disgraced rabbi turned Wall Street banker, and
Amelia, his journalist girlfriend, live with their newborn
in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the most dynamic and
historically volatile neighborhoods in New York City. The
infusion of upwardly mobile professionals into Bed-Stuy’s
historic brownstones belies the tension simmering on the
streets below. But after a cop shoots a boy in a nearby
park, conflict escalates to rioting—with Aaron and his
family at its center.
Pulled into the riot’s vortex are Antoinette, devout nanny
to Aaron and Amelia’s son; Jupiter, the single father who
lives on their block with his son, Derek; Daniel, Aaron’s
unhinged tenant in their basement unit; and Sara, a smart
local girl, broiling with confusion and rage. As the day
unfolds, these diverse characters are forced to reckon with
who they are and what truly matters to them.
With “the mordant wit of Franzen, the dazzling smarts of
Roth, and the compassion of Tolstoy” (Rafael Yglesias,
author of A Happy Marriage), Platzer conjures a
sharp-eyed, fast-paced, and empathetically rendered
narrative about a changing neighborhood and its residents,
as they struggle to raise children, establish careers, and
find love, fulfillment, and meaning. Bed-Stuy Is Burning
offers a window into an array of complex lives and
deftly wrestles with the most pressing issues of our time
with unflinching focus, wisdom, and hope.
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