Hogarth Shakespeare

New Boy

Publisher: Knopf Canada
"O felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back.”
 
Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote—“O” for short—knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day, so he is lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one boy, used to holding sway in the world of the school­yard, can’t stand to witness the budding relationship. When Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl, the school and its key players—teachers and pupils alike—will never be the same again.
 
The tragedy of Othello is vividly transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington school, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. The world of preadolescents is as passionate and intense, if not more so, as that of adults. Drawing us into the lives and emotions of four eleven-year-olds—Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi—Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by love and jealousy, bullying and betrayal, is as moving as it is enthralling. It is an unfor­gettable novel.

READ AN EXCERPT

Dee noticed him before anyone else. She was glad of that, held on to it. It made her feel special to have him to herself for a few seconds, before the world around them skipped a beat and did not recover for the restof the day.

The playground was busy before school. Enough children had arrived early that games of...
Read More

PRAISE FOR

ADVANCE PRAISE:

Othello as a seventies schoolyard drama? Yes, it works marvelously. The emotions of emerging adolescence are a potent brew, with friendships, rivalries, budding sexuality and the desire to fit in combining unflinchingly with the racism of the teachers (and some of the pupils). This is an evocative retelling of Shakespeare, and his characters’ interactions and motivations fit surprisingly well into the brutal world of childhood.” —Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat


PRAISE FOR AT THE EDGE OF THE ORCHARD:

“Chevalier is a master at foregrounding the small, dramatic stories of overlooked people from the past.” —Geraldine Brooks, author of The Secret Chord
 
“Sometimes, a book comes along that somehow ticks all the boxes. This is one of those books: The voices are rich and individual; the attention to detail impressive; the scent of apples, damp earth, and pines runs potently through the whole. A joy.” —Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

“With impeccable research and flawless prose, Chevalier perfectly conjures the grandeur of the pristine Wild West Robert encounters, the bawdiness of the period and the commanding needs of the everyday adventurers— male and female—who were bold enough or foolish enough to be drawn to the unknown. She crafts for us an excellent experience.” —USA Today

“A well-written tale about people with courage, including strong women who make the best of what life offers.” —Washington Times

“Chevalier is a gifted conjurer.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Excellently researched . . . brings to life a seminal chapter in American history . . . A compelling look at what was lost and gained in westward expansion.” —People

“A heartbreaking narrative of an Ohio pioneer family’s struggles . . . A pleasurable literary experience.” —BookPage

 
PRAISE FOR TRACY CHEVALIER:

“[A] master of voices.” —New York Times Book Review

“[Chevalier] creates a world reminiscent of a Vermeer interior: suspended in a particular moment, it transcends its time and place.” —The New Yorker (on Girl With a Pearl Earring)

“Chevalier admirably weaves historical figures and actual events into a compelling narrative.” —San Francisco Chronicle (on Remarkable Creatures)

“Chevalier’s signature talent lies in bringing alive the ordinary day-to-dayness of the past.” —Elle

“Chevalier’s ringing prose is as radiantly efficient as well-tended silver.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Part of the secret of Chevalier’s success is her uncanny ability to bring a lost world to life.” —The Baltimore Sun