White Tears (Hardback)Hari Kunzru (author)
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A feverish new tale from the bestselling author of The Impressionist
That summer I would ride my bike over the bridge, lock it up in front of one of the bars on Orchard Street and drift through the city on foot, recording. People and places. Sidewalk smokers, lovers’ quarrels, drug deals. I wanted to store the world and play it back just as I found it, without change or addition.
Two twenty-something New Yorkers: Seth, awkward and shy, and Carter, the trust fund hipster.
They have one thing in common: an obsession with music. Rising fast on the New York producing scene, they stumble across an old blues song long forgotten by history -- and everything starts to unravel. Carter is drawn far down a path that allows no return, and Seth has no choice but to follow his friend into the darkness.
Trapped in a game they don't understand, Hari Kunzru's characters move unsteadily across the chessboard, caught between black and white, performer and audience, righteous and forsaken. But we have been here before, oh so many times over, and the game always ends the same way...
Electrifying, subversive and wildly original, White Tears is a ghost story and a love story, a story about lost innocence and historical guilt. This unmissable novel penetrates the heart of a nation's darkness, encountering a suppressed history of greed, envy, revenge and exploitation, and holding a mirror up to the true nature of America today.
'White Tears is a brave book, and often a very funny one' - Daily Telegraph
‘White Tears is a witty, strange and often very moving book.’ – FT
‘Brilliant. A nightmarish page-turner’ - The Sunday Telegraph
Recognised as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003, Hari Kunzru is an author and journalist whose works include: The Impressionist (for which he won the Betty Trask Award and The Somerset Maugham Award), Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods without Men.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 524 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 28 mm
[A] stunning, audacious, urgent thriller, as challenging as it is terrifying, as brave as it is brutal... It will shock you, horrify you, unsettle you, and that's exactly the point. It lets nothing and nobody off the hook * NPR *
Delilloesque -- moody, threatening, and profoundly dark... A story about ghosts, about grievances leaking through the fabric of decades, and about retribution, violence and hatred. At every turn, Kunzru's words concoct a dreamlike world where the past isn't dead and the boundaries of reality flicker at the margins. * Huffington Post *
Haunting, doom-drenched, genuinely and viscerally disturbing... Kunzru showcases his trademark exhilarating prose throughout - closing with a conclusion that packs a real punch * Independent *
Like Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch... A stunning novel of ideas that becomes a page-turning thriller... During Trump's presidency, reading White Tears feels like a necessary and exhilarating act * Stylist *
A disorientating odyssey through decades of American history...Kunzru has always been an assured and intellectually gifted novelist, but I am not sure he has ever before displaying such emotional heft * Daily Telegraph *
Visceral horror, pacey storytelling and razor tautness. White Tears is a state-of-the-nation novel that ties pre-Civil Rights barbarism with a contemporary amnesia that parades as post racial America * Evening Standard *
Graceful [and] exquisitely attuned * Washington Post *
Exquisite... captures a yearning achieved fleetingly in life and more fully in art * i *
At its heart is a serious reminder of how too often history robs the powerless of their voices * Daily Mail *
Think of it as a socially-aware Goosebumps book for grown-ups * Shortlist *
What begins as dude-bro send-up soon spirals into a supernatural revenge fantasy keyed to America's history of racism * Observer *
A captivating satire about race and music * The Week, Novel of the Week *
Both like a radical revenge fantasia and a stern lesson in radical empathy * Spectator *
Kunzru's awareness and discernment have particular value in an America of the moment where nothing less than the country's meaning is at stake... unmoored between the heart that's felt it and the tip of the tongue that awaits the heart's transmission, in search of a promise that's determined to keep itself * The New York Times *
A witty, strange and often very moving book * Financial Times *
Deep themes on the nature of memory, race and authenticity * The Times *
A brave book and often very funny * Sunday Telegraph *
[An] excellent ghost story... A mesmerising tale of white guilt and black oppression in America * Evening Standard *
A nightmarish page-turner... A disorientating odyssey through American history and a lesson in what happens when art is hijacked for less than noble aims * Daily Telegraph *
This rich novel embraces the Deep South, a murder and a wealthy family's dark secret, while riffing on art and authenticity * Mail on Sunday *
Full of verve and rhythm, White Tears cleverly skewers ideas about angst surrounding white appropriation of black music * Financial Times *
A fast-paced, ambitious, hallucinatory mystery * Publishers Weekly *
Marvellous, original and intelligent. Kunzru writes like a master storyteller... There's simply nothing [he] couldn't manage in prose * Literary Review *
Publisher's description. Electrifying, subversive and wildly original, White Tears is a ghost story and a love story, a story about lost innocence and historical guilt. This unmissable novel penetrates the heart of a nation's darkness, encountering a suppressed history of greed, envy, revenge and exploitation, and holding a mirror up to the true nature of America today. * Penguin *
Compulsively readable, masterly - a tour de force -- Rachel Kushner
Riveting from the very first page, I was completely addicted... A literary thriller and a timely, unsparing excavation of the very real spectre of race in America's past and present. White Tears is proof that Kunzru is one of the finest novelists of his generation... -- Mirza Waheed
Hari Kunzru is an incredibly versatile writer who is alert to the inequalities in the world... Powerful and complex, White Tears is a novel about abuses of wealth and power. Brilliantly orchestrated, unforgettable and devastating -- Bernardine Evaristo
Hari Kunzru is one of our most important novelists * Independent on Sunday *
Kunzru's engagingly wired prose and agile plotting sweep all before them * New Yorker *