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Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

In Sag Harbor, Benji Cooper is a black teenager from a wealthy family. During the school year, he attends a mostly white elite prep school. He spends his summers, though, in Sag Harbor, an enclave of wealthy African Americans on Long Island. Because the parents are gone during the week, Benji and the other kids have free rein of the community. Benji moves about a bit out of step, flummoxed by ever changing handshakes, trying to swear properly, being embarrassed by his musical preferences, and dealing with a haircut that just won't cooperate. It's a summer where the challenges might seem trivial, but Benji spends his days trying to find his place within his world. Colson Whitehead's novel has received positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "As Sag Harbor moves along, its tone grows more openly melancholy, and trouble in Benji's happy-looking family sometimes shatters the comedy. But the real tragedy, the sadness of adolescence ending, is tempered by his ever-fresh, American faith in self-invention. 'I could do it,' Benji thinks of his future cool self. 'It was going to be a great year. I was sure of it.' That fragile hope may be the most irresistible quality of this wise, affectionate novel."
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Buy Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
New York Times review
by Janet Maslin

Washington Post review
by Ron Charles

San Francisco Chronicle review
by Cheston Knapp

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review
by Margo Hammond

Dallas Morning News review
by Walton Muyumba

New York Times review
by Touré

Seattle Times review
by Tyrone Beason

Village Voice review
by Zach Baron

Colson Whitehead
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