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Sag Harbor

by Whitehead, Colson, 1969-

Format: Book on CD 2009
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Avalon Public Library Audio Visual CD FIC WHI
Location  Avalon Public Library
Collection  Audio Visual
Call Number  CD FIC WHI
Carnegie Library of Homestead Recorded Book BCD FIC Whit
Location  Carnegie Library of Homestead
Collection  Recorded Book
Call Number  BCD FIC Whit
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. After a tragic mishap on his first day of high school--when Benji reveals his deep enthusiasm for the horror movie magazine Fangoria--his social doom is sealed for the next four years.
But every summer, Benji escapes to the Hamptons, to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own. Because their parents come out only on weekends, he and his friends are left to their own devices for three glorious months. And although he's just as confused about this all-black refuge as he is about the white world he negotiates the rest of the year, he thinks that maybe this summer things will be different. If all goes according to plan, that is.
There will be trials and tribulations, of course. There will be complicated new handshakes to fumble through, and state-of-the-art profanity to master. He will be tested by contests big and small, by his misshapen haircut (which seems to have a will of its own), by the New Coke Tragedy of '85, and by his secret Lite FM addiction. But maybe, with a little luck, things will turn out differently this summer.
In this deeply affectionate and fiercely funny coming-of-age novel, Whitehead--using the perpetual mortification of teenage existence and the desperate quest for reinvention--lithely probes the elusive nature of identity, both personal and communal.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* MacArthur fellow Whitehead follows three inventive, satirical, and reverberating novels with a classic entering-manhood tale framed within the summer of 1985. Benji, 15, skinny, nerdy, well-meaning, and wry, reports on life in a legendary African American enclave in Sag Harbor, Long Island. He and his brother, the sons of a doctor and a lawyer, attend private school in Manhattan and spend each summer here with a circle of friends, this year moving on from bicycles to cars, arcade games to ogling girls. Benji muses over the fact that he and his friends, black boys with beach houses, define paradox, and frets over myriad anxieties, including his inability to keep up with the new handshakes. Whitehead's ardor for pop culture launches exuberantly caustic ruminations on music, fashion, and TV, while he goes overboard describing Benji's ice-cream-shop job. Benji's stipulations of what is cool and uncool create a moral equation, while the buzz of summer delights conceals the pain of racism and class bias, which lurk like jagged rocks beneath the sun-dazzled sea. Yet, just as Benji can't swim, Whitehead sticks to the frothy shoreline and avoids the deep. Caution lowers the resonance of this masterfully told tale, but ups the pleasure, making for an unusually generous, wisely funny novel about good kids and a society's muddled attempt to come of age.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In what Whitehead describes as his "Autobiographical Fourth Novel" (as opposed to the more usual autobiographical first novel), the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist John Henry Days explores the in-between space of adolescence through one boy's summer in a predominantly black Long Island neighborhood. Benji and Reggie, brothers so closely knit that many mistake them for twins, have been coming out to Sag Harbor for as long as they can remember. For Benji, each three-month stay at Sag is a chance to catch up with friends he doesn't see the rest of the year, and to escape the social awkwardness that comes with a bad afro, reading Fangoria, and being the rare African-American student at an exclusive Manhattan prep school. As he and Reggie develop separate identities and confront new factors like girls, part-time jobs and car-ownership, Benji struggles to adapt to circumstances that could see him joining the ranks of "Those Who Don't Come Out Anymore." Benji's funny and touching story progresses leisurely toward Labor Day, but his reflections on what's gone before provide a roadmap to what comes later, resolving social conflicts that, at least this year, have yet to explode. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects African American teenage boys -- Fiction.
Adolescence -- Fiction.
Sag Harbor (N.Y.) -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Random House Audio,2009
Edition Unabridged.
Contributors Willis, Mirron E. (Mirron Edward), 1965-
Participants/Performers Read by Mirron Willis.
Language English
Notes Unabridged.
Compact discs.
Description 9 compact discs (11 hr. 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
ISBN 9780739381908
Other Classic View