Green: A Novel (Hardcover)

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January 2018 Indie Next List


“Please read Green. You will fall in love with Graham-Felsen's David from his first utterances on page one of this original, thought-provoking twist on an important subject - race relations. Thank God David has such a great voice and there are so many humorous moments, or else I may have felt extremely sad about his experiences of being such an outsider. A truly memorable moment-in-time novel and a great read.”
— Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books, Hudson, WI

Description


A coming-of-age novel about race, privilege, and the struggle to rise in America, written by a former Obama campaign staffer and propelled by an exuberant, unforgettable narrator.
 
“A riot of language that’s part hip-hop, part nerd boy, and part pure imagination.”The Boston Globe


Boston, 1992. David Greenfeld is one of the few white kids at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School. Everybody clowns him, girls ignore him, and his hippie parents won’t even buy him a pair of Nikes, let alone transfer him to a private school. Unless he tests into the city’s best public high school—which, if practice tests are any indication, isn’t likely—he’ll be friendless for the foreseeable future.

Nobody’s more surprised than Dave when Marlon Wellings sticks up for him in the school cafeteria. Mar’s a loner from the public housing project on the corner of Dave’s own gentrifying block, and he confounds Dave’s assumptions about black culture: He’s nerdy and neurotic, a Celtics obsessive whose favorite player is the gawky, white Larry Bird. Before long, Mar’s coming over to Dave’s house every afternoon to watch vintage basketball tapes and plot their hustle to Harvard. But as Dave welcomes his new best friend into his world, he realizes how little he knows about Mar’s. Cracks gradually form in their relationship, and Dave starts to become aware of the breaks he’s been given—and that Mar has not.

Infectiously funny about the highs and lows of adolescence, and sharply honest in the face of injustice, Sam Graham-Felsen’s debut is a wildly original take on the American dream.

Praise for Green

“Prickly and compelling . . . Graham-Felsen lets boys be boys: messy-brained, impulsive, goatish, self-centered, outwardly gutsy but often inwardly terrified.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“A coming-of-age tale of uncommon sweetness and feeling.”The New Yorker

“A fierce and brilliant book, comic, poignant, perfectly observed, and blazing with all the urgent fears and longings of adolescence.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

“A heartfelt and unassumingly ambitious book.”Slate

About the Author


Sam Graham-Felsen was born and raised in Boston. He has worked as chief blogger for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, a journalist for The Nation, and a peanut vendor at Fenway Park. This is his first novel.

Praise For…


“A comically geeky coming-of-age story that brims with anxiety, resentment, and a surplus of compassion . . . a riot of language that’s part hip-hop, part nerd boy, and part pure imagination . . . Green earns . . . a spot on the continuum of vernacular in the American literary tradition, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to The Catcher in the Rye.”The Boston Globe

“Prickly and compelling . . . [Sam] Graham-Felsen lets boys be boys: messy-brained, impulsive, goatish, self-centered, outwardly gutsy but often inwardly terrified.”The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“A coming-of-age tale of uncommon sweetness and feeling.”The New Yorker

“A fierce and brilliant book, comic, poignant, perfectly observed, and blazing with all the urgent fears and longings of adolescence.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

“A heartfelt and unassumingly ambitious book.”Slate

“Sam Graham-Felsen achieves an extraordinary balancing act, creating a poignant and convincing coming-of-age story while at the same time reflecting much larger themes about race and the country’s changing social landscape.”—Jewish Book Council

“Wry and moving.”Shelf Awareness

“One of the most original voices you’ll read this year.”Southern Living

“Superb . . . a memorable first novel . . . [Green is replete with] wonderful characters, fully realized and multidimensional.”Booklist (starred review)

“[Green] poignantly captures the tumultuous feelings of adolescence against the historical backdrop of a racially segregated city and country.”Library Journal

“[A] subtly humorous, surprisingly touching coming-of-age narrative . . . a memorable and moving portrayal of a complicated but deep friendship that just might survive the weight placed on it.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Astounding . . . I’ve rarely seen an author nail a time and a place with such gorgeous accuracy and heartbreaking hilarity. The strength of Sam Graham-Felsen’s voice can lift up entire worlds.”—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

“Though it raises serious questions about race and inequality with a poignancy that took me aback, Green is also funny and beautifully written, with not a word out of place, and somehow managing to be both true to its young narrator’s voice and bracingly intelligent in its depiction of a brutal societal impasse. I enjoyed this more than anything else I’ve read in ages.”—Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

“Sam Graham-Felsen has pioneered a new genre: free-stylin’ social realism. If Balzac were a hip-hop artist, he might have produced a novel like Green.”—Heidi Julavits, author The Folded Clock


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399591143
ISBN-10: 0399591141
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2018
Pages: 320
Language: English