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Sag Harbor

by

Sag Harbor Cover

 

Staff Pick

Sag Harbor is the joyful, hilarious, intelligent story of the summer of 1985 in the life of Benji Cooper, a time and character as full of contradictions as life itself. Colson Whitehead is writing at the top of his game, and Sag Harbor is the ultimate smart and addictive beach read.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the award-winning author of John Henry Days and The Intuitionist: a tender, hilarious, and supremely original novel about coming-of-age in the 80s.

Benji Cooper is one of the few black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. 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.

The summer of '85 won't be without its usual trials and tribulations, of course. There will be complicated new handshakes to fumble through and state-of-the-art profanity to master. Benji 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, and by his secret Lite FM addiction. But maybe, just maybe, this summer might be one for the ages.

Review:

“Pure shimmering brilliance. Colson Whiteheads affecting new novel joyously lights up a place, a time, a family, and one unforgettable young man. It is also one of the funniest books Ive ever read, a book loaded with the kind of humor that can only soar off a heartbreaking sadness.” Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutantes Handbook

Review:

“Warm and funny, carefully observed, and beautifully written. . . . Whitehead seems to be having the time of his life.” The Boston Globe

Review:

Sag Harbor is a kind of black ‘Brighton Beach memoirs’. . . . The novel’s eight chapters are, in effect, masterful short stories [that] riff on the essential quests of teenage boys: BB guns, nude beaches, beer and, above all, the elusive secret to fitting in.” The Washington Post

Review:

“Delicious.” The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Whitehead has tapped the most classic summer-novel activity of all: nostalgia. . . . The pleasure is in the way Whitehead recalls it, in loving and lingering detail.” Time

Review:

“Surges and sings. . . . Stokes our emotions and intellect at once.” Dallas Morning News

Review:

“Weaves a spell that is by turns enchanting, mood-shifting, and side-splitting.” Elle

Review:

"By acknowledging that adolescence’s indignities are universal, and that the search for self is endless, Sag Harbor brings this truth home.” Vanity Fair

Review:

“All of Whitehead's previous books were various degrees of funny, and Sag Harbor is funnier than all three combined.” The Village Voice

Review:

“[A] wise, affectionate novel.” The Washington Post

Review:

“Ebullient, supremely confident.” The San Diego Union-Tribune

Synopsis:

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 — beautifully explores racial and class identity, illustrating the complex rhythms of the adult world.

About the Author

Colson Whitehead is the author of the novels The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Apex Hides the Hurt, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the PEN Oakland Award. He has also written a book of essays about his home town, The Colossus of New York. A recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and a MacArthur Fellowship, he lives in Brooklyn.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

librariphile, April 21, 2014 (view all comments by librariphile)
Don't trust the star ratings (they're skewed!) -- this book is great. It helped me dig out of a rough winter. It's funny, thoughtful, and the story is fabulous.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Tearrance, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Tearrance)
The book was excellent! Learned more about the philosophy of frozen dinners than I ever thought would be necessary.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
lukas, August 26, 2010 (view all comments by lukas)
"Supremely original" says the publisher's blurb. Maybe if you've never read a book or seen a movie about teens in the summer. I have a bias against contemporary, hyped, middle class, white, New York-living, youngish writers, so I thought I'd try Whitehead, who is all the above, but African-American. His novel-a bland coming of age story set on Long Island in the 80s-has all the weaknesses of his peers (Shteyngart, Lethem, Foer): lazy plotting, cleverness, a lack of depth or nuance. More like "Snooze Harbor" or "Suck Harbor."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307455161
Author:
Whitehead, Colson
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Adolescence
Subject:
African American teenage boys
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
28 x 12.75 x 4.5 in 11 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Sag Harbor New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307455161 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Sag Harbor is the joyful, hilarious, intelligent story of the summer of 1985 in the life of Benji Cooper, a time and character as full of contradictions as life itself. Colson Whitehead is writing at the top of his game, and Sag Harbor is the ultimate smart and addictive beach read.

"Review" by , “Pure shimmering brilliance. Colson Whiteheads affecting new novel joyously lights up a place, a time, a family, and one unforgettable young man. It is also one of the funniest books Ive ever read, a book loaded with the kind of humor that can only soar off a heartbreaking sadness.”
"Review" by , “Warm and funny, carefully observed, and beautifully written. . . . Whitehead seems to be having the time of his life.”
"Review" by , Sag Harbor is a kind of black ‘Brighton Beach memoirs’. . . . The novel’s eight chapters are, in effect, masterful short stories [that] riff on the essential quests of teenage boys: BB guns, nude beaches, beer and, above all, the elusive secret to fitting in.”
"Review" by , “Delicious.”
"Review" by , "Whitehead has tapped the most classic summer-novel activity of all: nostalgia. . . . The pleasure is in the way Whitehead recalls it, in loving and lingering detail.”
"Review" by , “Surges and sings. . . . Stokes our emotions and intellect at once.”
"Review" by , “Weaves a spell that is by turns enchanting, mood-shifting, and side-splitting.”
"Review" by , "By acknowledging that adolescence’s indignities are universal, and that the search for self is endless, Sag Harbor brings this truth home.”
"Review" by , “All of Whitehead's previous books were various degrees of funny, and Sag Harbor is funnier than all three combined.”
"Review" by , “[A] wise, affectionate novel.”
"Review" by , “Ebullient, supremely confident.”
"Synopsis" by , 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 — beautifully explores racial and class identity, illustrating the complex rhythms of the adult world.
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