New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
(Hogarth Shakespeare)

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Othello forces readers to consider how terrible it must have been for him to live among such racism in 16th-century Venice. Chevalier’s retelling brings it home and makes us question if our society today is really any better.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

William Shakespeare's Othello retold as New Boy

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.
 
The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds – Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant ‘girlfriend’ Mimi – Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.
 

About Tracy Chevalier

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TRACY CHEVALIER is the New York Times bestselling author of five previous novels, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film. Born and raised in Washington D.C., she lives in London with her husband and son.
 
Published May 16, 2017 by Hogarth. 210 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for New Boy
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on May 24 2017

Tracy Chevalier’s take on the Moor of Venice blends innocence and darkness in a way that is both unanticipated and incredibly effective. ["New Boy"] is powerful and thoughtful and captivating, a book you’ll want to savor even as you tear through its too-few pages.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Blair Mlotek on May 19 2017

Othello forces readers to consider how terrible it must have been for him to live among such racism in 16th-century Venice. Chevalier’s retelling brings it home and makes us question if our society today is really any better.

Read Full Review of New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) | See more reviews from National Post arts

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey on May 17 2017

My wish, as I read Chevalier’s ambitious novel, was for a more radical interpretation of Shakespeare’s play. I wanted to believe absolutely in these characters without necessary reference to their originals. New Boy’s direct transfer of the play from stage to page does not allow for a full development of the characters who are summoned into being.

Read Full Review of New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Robert McCrum on May 14 2017

Its violent closing pages take it within hailing distance of its theatrical source material. But the real lesson of this book is to instruct the reader in the profound, possibly unbridgeable, differences between drama and fiction.

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Reader Rating for New Boy
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 35 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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