New People (Hardcover)
New People is the story of Maria and Khalil, the "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom," and their lives in New York City during the late 1990s. Maria is a conflicted, often frustrating protagonist, but only because it's easy to see oneself in her search for authenticity. She is self-destructive in a painfully real way: makes cruel jokes, says the wrong things at parties, lashes out at expectations, desires another man. Danzy Senna's prose flows with purpose and clarity as the plot of New People quietly simmers to a boil. You'll be laughing long before being afraid to laugh, crying well before tragedy sets in, waiting for the sun. -Eric— From Fall Booknotes 2017
Named A 2017 BEST SUMMER READ BY
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.