The Color Midnight Made by Andrew Winer
A Novel

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In this rare and beautiful book that bears all the marks of a classic, gifted first-time novelist Andrew Winer has created one of the most unforgettable heroes in recent fiction, and in so doing offers us a profound portrait of America. Conrad Clay, a curious and passionate white boy growing up in a depressed, primarily black community in the San Francisco Bay Area, is trying to hold on to the people around him: his mother, who is obsessed with her failing marriage; his father, a drinker who is prone to violence and has been fired from his job; his ailing grandmother, the one person he trusts; and his best friend, Loop, who increasingly distances himself from Conrad under pressure from their peers. As Conrad's family breaks apart, he looks beyond his home for love and attention -- a search that will force him into a head-on collision with adult life. For a while, he finds solace in the home of Mary, Loop's self-possessed single mother, who gives him the attention and care his own mother cannot. As Conrad puts his trust in Mary's blind son, Midnight, his life changes in a way he never could have imagined. With empathy and humor, "The Color Midnight Made" takes us through the heartbreaking experiences of a boy coming to terms with the world he has inherited. In its masterful portrayal of race and class, it both illuminates the dark corners of our national psyche and reaffirms our capacity for kindness. At its heart, this resonant and lyrical rendering of childhood's end is a compassionate work of grace, a luminous meditation on love, loss, friendship, and family.

About Andrew Winer

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Andrew Winer received his M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of California at Irvine and is co-author of a screenplay that sold to Fox/New Regency. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he currently lives in Southern California. This is his first novel. Visit
Published July 2, 2002 by Atria. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The family falls behind in rent but is saved from eviction because Conrad writes a nice letter to the landlord (who is very old and sick and lives in Florida) offering him his prize football card if he’ll give Conrad’s father some time to find another job.

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Publishers Weekly

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Characters and plot lines range from the mundane (a bully, some adolescent sexual fumbling) to the bizarre (a pair of gay pro wrestlers, Conrad's plan to kill his father with a pipe bomb), but Winer's take on boyhood, with its attendant spasms of bravado and insecurity, always rings true.

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