The only thing that distracted me from my engrossed reading of All The Living (Picador, $14) was my delight and wonder at having discovered the young, first-time novelist C.E. Morgan. Young Aloma is an aspiring pianist who comes to live with her boyfriend, Orren, on his struggling tobacco farm. Grounded by a loving mastery of the lay of the land, and the grit of Morgan’s rich, quotation-mark-free dialogue, the story of the couple’s tense love and their clumsy efforts to relate to each other take on an earthy authenticity. The story has a rustic timelessness about it, which puts it in a long tradition of first-class American writing.

All the Living: A Novel Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780312429324
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Picador - February 2nd, 2010

I can’t imagine a kid on the last day of school who isn’t eager for what summer will bring. For most kids, it’ll bring a week or two of vacation or family visits. For a lucky few, there’s the whole summer spent someplace special. For Benji in Colson Whitehead’s very funny new novel, that place is Sag Harbor (Doubleday, $24.95), the enclave where the families of New York’s black professionals go. Benji and his younger brother arrive and seek out their friends. The two are thought of as a single entity, but during this summer of 1985, 15-year-old Benji states that he’s now Ben. Yet as much as he wants to declare his independence, he also wants to connect with his friends. As one of the few black kids at a Manhattan prep school, he decides it’s time to learn the latest slang, the hand jive, the newest dances. None of this is easy for Ben because he’s a geek more comfortable with playing Dungeons and Dragons than getting down. Whitehead’s great at showing how Benji navigates through the summer, from his explanation of the newest slang to his realization that the haircuts his dad has given him and his brother are lame, to his job at the waffle shop where he’s covered in more batter than his co-workers are. This is a great book for reminiscing and for laughing out loud! Happy summer!

For a lucky few kids, summer means going someplace special. For Benji in Colson Whitehead’s very funny novel, that place is Sag Harbor (Anchor, $15.95), the enclave where the families of New York’s black professionals go. Benji and his younger brother are treated as a single entity by their friends, but during this summer of 1985, 15-year-old Benji states that he’s now Ben. Yet as much as he wants to declare his independence, he also wants to connect with his friends. As one of the few black kids at a Manhattan prep school, he decides it’s time to learn the latest slang, the hand jive, the newest dances. None of this is easy for Ben because he’s a geek more comfortable with playing Dungeons and Dragons than with getting down. Whitehead shows how Benji navigates through the summer with his pals and his job at the waffle shop, where he’s always covered in more batter than his co-workers are.

Sag Harbor Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307455161
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - June 15th, 2010

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