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New England White: A Novel

by

New England White: A Novel Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2008 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

I rarely read anything that could even vaguely be described as a thriller, but New England White, with its page-turning pace, multiple murders, and complex and far-reaching mysteries, must undoubtedly be called one. It is also a fascinating sociological look at race, class, politics, and power in America today. Stephen Carter has a gift for language, a formidable intelligence, and an ability to create such a complex puzzle that Holmes himself would be impressed. A perfect choice for not-so-light summer reading fare.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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.)

Review:

"'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.)"

Review:

"No matter how our ancestors got here — in the holds of slave ships, through the gates of Ellis Island, via a long trek across the Bering Straits or thanks to a nifty gift of land from the British crown — on these shores we can all become, for better or worse, something else entirely, at least for a while. In this sense, the United States is the ultimate land of make-believe, and the proud black... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[An] irresistible — and highly intelligent — thriller. Carter strikes again." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"If Carter's first novel drew apt comparisons to Scott Turow's legal thrillers, New England White reads more like a Ross Macdonald mystery....Carter's novel of manners within this thriller is satisfying indeed. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Carter is a thoughtful writer whose wide-ranging intelligence and insights traverse terrain that encompasses campus intrigue, economic theory, political dirty tricks, religion, antique mirrors, anagrams and more." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Carter deserves praise for boldly tackling such daunting topics as racism, cultural divisions and dubious shadings of morality under the guise of a summer beach read. If only he had trusted our intelligence." Miami Herald

Review:

"[A] tale of hidden levers of power and a secret society...with murders and attempted murders fueling the politico-academic frisson as religion and economic theory contend in their explanations of human behavior." Chicago Tribune

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375413629
Subtitle:
A novel
Author:
Carter, Stephen L.
Author:
Carter, Stephen L.
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
General
Subject:
New england
Subject:
African American college teachers
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
June 26, 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
9.62x6.50x1.78 in. 1.87 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2008
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Sale Books
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

New England White: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 576 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780375413629 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

I rarely read anything that could even vaguely be described as a thriller, but New England White, with its page-turning pace, multiple murders, and complex and far-reaching mysteries, must undoubtedly be called one. It is also a fascinating sociological look at race, class, politics, and power in America today. Stephen Carter has a gift for language, a formidable intelligence, and an ability to create such a complex puzzle that Holmes himself would be impressed. A perfect choice for not-so-light summer reading fare.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'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.)"
"Review" by , "[An] irresistible — and highly intelligent — thriller. Carter strikes again."
"Review" by , "If Carter's first novel drew apt comparisons to Scott Turow's legal thrillers, New England White reads more like a Ross Macdonald mystery....Carter's novel of manners within this thriller is satisfying indeed. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "Carter is a thoughtful writer whose wide-ranging intelligence and insights traverse terrain that encompasses campus intrigue, economic theory, political dirty tricks, religion, antique mirrors, anagrams and more."
"Review" by , "Carter deserves praise for boldly tackling such daunting topics as racism, cultural divisions and dubious shadings of morality under the guise of a summer beach read. If only he had trusted our intelligence."
"Review" by , "[A] tale of hidden levers of power and a secret society...with murders and attempted murders fueling the politico-academic frisson as religion and economic theory contend in their explanations of human behavior."
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