New Boy (Hardback)Tracy Chevalier (author)
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A stunning new addition to the Hogarth Shakespeare Series from one of Waterstones best-loved writers.
She noticed him before anyone else...
Arriving at his fourth school in six 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 practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching 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.
The Hogarth Shakespeare Series sees Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today. Other titles in the series are: The Gap of Time, Shylock is My Name, Vinegar Girl, Hag Seed, New Boy and Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn (due in October 2017).
Tracy Chevalier was born and grew up in Washington DC but moved to the UK after graduating and has lived here since. She made her name with her second novel, the phenomenally successful Girl with a Pearl Earring which sold 5 million copies worldwide and was made into a film. Her other works include: The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, The Lady and the Unicorn, Burning Bright, Remarkable Creatures, The Last Runaway, At The Edge of the Orchard and New Boy as well as an edited collection of works based on Jane Eyre, Reader, I Married Him.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 329 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 21 mm
"This is a compact and intense read full of twists, turns and intrigue. The fast-moving shifting allegiances and rivalries that dominate the playground provide a backdrop full of heightened emotion that cleverly reflects the atmosphere of the original play" -- Mernie Gilmore * Daily Express *
"Chevalier is at her best when describing the tenderness of young love or conveying the inner thoughts of her protagonists ... Chevalier deftly and succinctly gives [her characters] all more of a backstory than Shakespeare ever allowed ... transposing this story to the playground makes absolute sense. It is of interest as an exercise in illustrating the universality of the original, and works equally well as a standalone piece which tells of a tightly wound, intimately imagined situation hurtling towards inevitable tragedy" -- Kirsty McLuckie * Scotland on Sunday *
"What Chevalier has done is recast the play to illuminate the peculiar trials of our era... a fascinating exercise ... In Chevalier's handling, the insidious manipulations of Othello translate smoothly to the dynamics of a sixth-grade playground, with all its skinned-knee passions and hop-scotch rules ... How Chevalier renders Iago's scheme into the terms of a modern-day playground provides some wicked delight. She's immensely inventive about it all" -- Ron Charles * Washington Post *
"Chevalier's modern interpretation of Othello deftly explores race relations in the schoolyard in 1970s suburban Washington, and captures how it feels to be an outsider" -- Anita Sethi * i, 2017 Books of the Year *
"Othello as a Seventies schoolyard drama? Yes, it works marvellously. The emotions of emerging adolescence are a potent brew, with friendships, rivalries, budding sexuality, and the desire to fit in combining unflinchingly with the racism of the teachers (and some of the pupils). This is an evocative retelling of Shakespeare, and his characters' interactions and motivations fit surprisingly well into the brutal world of childhood" -- Joanne Harris
"Powerful and intriguing" -- Deidre O'Brien * Sunday Mirror *
"To add urgency to an everyday story of high-school bullying, [Chevalier] compresses the action into the cycle of a school day. It's a clever strategy, executed with typical aplomb by the gifted author of Girl With a Pearl Earring... Her New Boy is an often inspired riff on adolescence and alienation" -- Robert McCrum * The Observer *
"New Boy is in the tradition of movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You or West Side Story, or Toni Morrison's play Desdemona ... A deft examination of the accommodations a boy such as Osei must make wherever he goes ... Chevalier is delicate in her description of the emotional and mental cost of all this careful avoidance" -- Ellah Wakatama Allfrey * The Guardian *
"Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling" * MumsNet *
"It is undoubtedly a real page turner" -- Philip Fisher * British Theatre Guide *
"The tightness of Chevalier's version is admirable... She is careful to make this a book full of movement and observation... The plot works terrifying well in a playground. Fifteen-year-olds are brutal, especially fired by the conflicting aches and desires of puberty... Prior knowledge of Othello's ending makes the final act, played out over monkey bars on a jungle gym, all the worse: such adult consequences to the actions of those so young makes the outcome breathtakingly sad" -- Alice Hancock * Times Literary Supplement *
"Chevalier has transposed the tragic manipulation and downfall of Shakespeare's black Venetian general to a 1970s American school playground where a new eleven year old black pupil finds and loses love within a day. Tactfully, Chevalier uses this cushion of time to make the racism of the novel easier to digest, while subtly encouraging us to reflect on current progresses which can still be made." * Palatinate *
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“An interesting examination of racism, but strangled by the time frame.”
I think that the author had a difficult task on her hands making sense of Othello and translating it to a contemporary setting.
Othello becomes Osei , the son of a black diplomat who has attended several schools and... More
“An awkward translation of Othello to modern times”
O is the new boy at an elementary school in the 1970's. He has been to 3 new schools due to his fathers job and he is used to being the new kid.
Arriving at his new school he is instantly recognised as the only... More
“Chevalier's retelling of Othello will creep up on you and linger in the mind long after you've turned the last page.”
In 'New Boy' Tracy Chevalier has created an incredible retelling of Shakespeare's Othello that creeps up on you, and lingers in the mind long after you've turned the last page.
The never altering... More
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