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New England White: A Novelby Stephen L. Carter
Synopses & Reviews
The eagerly awaited, electrifying new novel from the author of The Emperor of Ocean Park ("Among the most remarkable fiction debuts in recent years....A rip-roaring entertainment" — The Boston Globe).
When The Emperor of Ocean Park was published, Time Out declared: "Carter does for members of the contemporary black upper class what Henry James did for Washington Square society, taking us into their drawing rooms and laying their motives bare." Now, with the same powers of observation, and the same richness of plot and character, Stephen L. Carter returns to the New England university town of Elm Harbor, where a murder begins to crack the veneer that has hidden the racial complications of the town's past, the secrets of a prominent family, and the most hidden bastions of African-American political influence.
At the center: Lemaster Carlyle, the university president, and his wife, Julia Carlyle, a deputy dean at the divinity school—African Americans living in "the heart of whiteness." Lemaster is an old friend of the president of the United States. Julia was the murdered man's lover years ago. The meeting point of these connections forms the core of a mystery that deepens even as Julia closes in on the politically earth-shattering motive behind the murder.
Relentlessly suspenseful, galvanizing in its exploration of the profound difference between allegiance to ideas and to people, New England White is a resounding confirmation of Stephen Carter's gifts as a writer of fiction.
"Two lesser characters from Yale law professor Carter's bestselling first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002) — husband and wife Lemaster and Julia Carlyle — take center stage in his second, a compelling, literate page-turner that effortlessly blends a gripping whodunit with complex discussions of politics and race in contemporary America. Lemaster, one of the country's most influential African-Americans, has recently begun his tenure as president of a prestigious New England university. As he and Julia, who serves as a dean in the university's divinity school, drive home one snowy night, they happen upon the corpse of Professor Kellen Zant, a brilliant economist as well as Julia's former lover. The murder threatens to shatter not only the Carlyles' marriage but also the fragile psyche of their precocious but troubled daughter, Vanessa — and may affect the upcoming, bitterly contested race for the White House. Julia proves an unlikely but dogged investigator, who looks beyond the official verdict that Zant was killed in a chance encounter with a robber. In the richness of his characters, both major and minor, and the intelligence of his writing, Carter rivals Scott Turow. Expect another bestseller. 300,000 first printing; author tour. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Lemaster Carlyle, the president of the country's most prestigious university, and his wife, Julie, the divinity school's deputy dean, are America's most prominent and powerful African American couple. Driving homethrough a swirling blizzard late one night, the couple skids off the road. Near the sight of their accident they discover a dead body. To her horror, Julia recognizes the body as a prominent academic and one of her formerlovers. In the wake of the death, the icy veneer of their town Elm Harbor, a place Julie calls the heart of whiteness, begins to crack, having devastating consequences for a prominent local family andsending shock waves all the way to the White House.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the peaceful New England university town of Elm Harbor, a murder threatens to unravel the thin veneer hiding the racial complications of the town's past, the hidden secrets of a prominent family, and African-American political influence in the United States. By the author of The Emperor of Ocean Park. 300,000 first printing.
About the Author
Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. He is also the author of seven books of nonfiction. He and his family live near New Haven, Connecticut.
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