The warm, funny, and supremely original new novel from one of the most acclaimed writers in America
The year is 1985. Benji Cooper is one of the only black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. He spends his falls and winters going to roller-disco bar mitzvahs, playing too much Dungeons and Dragons, and trying to catch glimpses of nudity on late-night cable TV. Af...more
Since I was 3 years old, my family has owned a cottage on Lake Erie, in a resort community near Cedar Point. We stay there every summer for at least one full week, plus a dozen weekends, and are always joined by a bounty of friends and family. It has always been a place I will treasure, and holds many fond memories. Of all the b...more
Of course it is about Sag Harbor, the Hamptons for upper-...more
Whitehead admits this himself in his video pitch: "There's no dead body,"...more
Which is what makes Colson Whitehead perhaps the most impressive author writing today. Not only are every one of his books equally fantastic, but each novel bears almost no styl...more
The year is 1985, more than two decades before the Obamas would step into the White House as America's First Family. Then, as now, spending summer vacations in your family's beach house on Long Island was something strongly associated with WASPs (White A...more
And at first I was way down with this book. Loved the early-80s hip-hop nostalgia, beach town, gangs of boy friends, middle-class talented-tenth black folks, etc.
And then it got to be too much. Too memoiry, too detailed. It was sort of like hanging out with that group of boys who constantl...more
recalls in excruciating adolescent detail, the summertime lives of a group of high school aged African American middle class boys. And I do mean rendered in excruciating detail. Sag Harbor is getting great press, probably because there are still folks who are surprised to learn that there are middle class black people who summer in the Hamptons, too. The...more
“Dag” is usually followed by “that’s cold” (as in, you got served, that’s...more
For all those who thought – like me – that the Hamptons was simply the summer playground for the rich and beautiful, Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead may come as a surprise. It seems that upper-middle class African-Americans have owned summer homes there since the 1940s.
And in 1985 15-year-old Benji summered there for his 15th year. Only for the first time he’s pretty much on his own since his parents have decided that he and his younger brother are old enough to hold down the home front, while...more
The author does a very good job in evoking the time period of 1985. For me, the book was a contrast of the familiar and foreign-- I remember new coke and the fashions, but beach houses and the art of an afro were new to me. I understand family confli...more
This has happened to me before. Most notably with Edward P. Jones and Zadie Smith. Writers who have transported me, made me feel deeply, had me sitting for hours captured in the sway of their world, only to strand me...more
I've only made it through 2/3 of the book. I think I lost interest with the slower reading pace of the book club. And while I kept meaning to, I never picked it up again. So, this review's based on a partial read.
Sag Harbor follows Benji and his brother Reggie on thei...more
His first novel, The Intuitionist, concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Awa...more