New People by Danzy Senna

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Inventive, sharp-witted and frequently hilarious, “New People” is set in mid-1990s Brooklyn, four years after the Los Angeles riots and two years before the fictional Senator Jay Bulworth...
-NY Times

Synopsis

FEATURED AS A PEOPLE MAGAZINE "PICK OF THE WEEK" AND A 2017 BEST SUMMER READ PICK BY

Vogue • Elle • Harper's Bazaar Glamour • Buzzfeed • Bustle • Ms. Magazine • Pop Sugar 
• Newsday • The Millions • 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 Danzy Senna

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Danzy Senna 's first novel, Caucasia, won the Stephen Crane Award for Best New Fiction and the ALA's Alex Award, was a finalist for the IMPAC Award, and was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Senna is also the author of Symptomatic and the memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night? She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons.
 
Published August 1, 2017 by Riverhead Books. 239 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for New People
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 27 2017

Every detail and subplot, including Maria’s dissertation on the Jonestown massacre and her buried secret about a college prank gone awry, is resonant. A great book about race and a great book all around.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Alexandra kleeman on Oct 06 2017

Inventive, sharp-witted and frequently hilarious, “New People” is set in mid-1990s Brooklyn, four years after the Los Angeles riots and two years before the fictional Senator Jay Bulworth...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Parul Sehgal on Aug 15 2017

There is no easy consolation in “New People.” But in its insistence on being read on its own terms, its commitment to complexity, it does something better than describe freedom. It enacts it.

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