Archives for racial prejudice

Book review: New Boy

When she arrives at school one day, Dee notices the new boy before anyone else and forsees he will have an impact on the world she lives in. Little does she know. This is Washington DC in the 1970s. A new black boy is starting his first day at an all-white school. New Boy: Othello Retold is not the usual novel you expect from Tracy Chevalier. Part of the Hogarth Shakespeare collection of novels by contemporary writers re-telling Shakespeare’s most famous plays, it is thought-provoking, ambitious, but not totally successful. Modernising such a well-known classic drama is always going to be problematic, with readers who love or hate it. Othello, possibly Shakespeare’s most political of plays, is about love, jealousy, sexual bullying and manipulation. Difficult subjects for a school. Some reviewers think this book should be marketed to adolescents but for me, the novel’s flaw lies in its timeframe. The action takes place over one school day so the arrival of Osei and his relationship with Dee charges from flirting, friendship, commitment to caressing, whispering and hurtful jealousy between the hours of nine in the morning and four-ish in the afternoon. There is simply too much to cram into one
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Categories: Book Love.