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New People (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Senna’s nuanced treatment of the challenges of finding one’s adult identity, and her spot-on hilarious chronicling of the social mores and manners of 1990’s NYC, combine to make this one of the best novels I’ve read in recent years. But it is so much more. To all of the universal issues young adults face, add a layer of complexity for these mixed-race characters who struggle with their racial identity and society’s reaction to them, and the result is this forceful, honest, indignant, impassioned, cynically comic, and heartbreakingly sad commentary on our supposedly post-racial America. I’m a firm believer that there is much to be learned from an excellent work of fiction, and this novel graces our lives at just the right moment. As with the best of novels, it offers no easy answers, but helps us ask the right questions and strengthens our understanding.

— From Jeanne's Picks




Vogue - Elle - Harper's Bazaar - Glamour - Buzzfeed - In Style - Men's Journal - Bustle - Ms. Magazine - Pop Sugar
- Newsday - The Millions - Time Out - Bitch - CNN's The Lead - The Fader

" A] cutting take on race and class...part dark comedy, part surreal morality tale. Disturbing and delicious." -People

"You'll gulp Senna's novel in a single sitting--but then mull over it for days." -Entertainment Weekly

"Everyone should read it." -Vogue

From the bestselling author of Caucasia, a subversive and engrossing novel of race, class and manners in contemporary America.

As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom." Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They've even landed a starring role in a documentary about "new people" like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her--yet she can't stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria's perfect new life but her very persona.

Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves.

About the Author

Danzy Senna's first novel, the bestselling Caucasia, won the Stephen Crane Award for Best New Fiction and the American Library Association's Alex Award, was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. A recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, Senna is also the author of the novel Symptomatic, the memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night?, and the story collection You Are Free. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the novelist Percival Everett, and their sons.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781594487095
ISBN-10: 159448709X
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 240
Language: English