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"New People" by Danzy Senna

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

TITLE: New People

AUTHOR: Danzy Senna

PUBLISHER: Riverhead Books

PUBLISHED DATE: August 1, 2017

ISBN: 9781594487095

PAGES: 240

This was such a quirky complex read. I read this book sometime over the summer, and am just now getting around to writing a review. I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley, but also purchased and listened to the audiobook version of this book for the Fros and Prose Book Club.

I can't say that this book was delightful, but it's certainly a thought provoking read, and a book that is certain to spark conversation about identity, sexuality, and colorism. Maria is caught between so many mixed feelings, it's hard to ascertain what she really wants. She's engaged to be married to Khalil. He's biracial, like herself, and she imagines beautiful tanned babies who, she thinks, will serve as the antidote to racism. And though she imagines this life with Khalil will be easy and paved with a curated black version of an upper middle class white life, she longs for former sexcapades with her white lover from college - a lover that she treated with deep contempt, and a mysterious dread loc'd poet who barely acknowledges her. Maria is angry, jealous, elitist, and self hating...she had so many conflicting emotions, it was difficult to keep up. The book is short enough and the writing strong enough to pull you to the end, but this is a rather frustrating book. I do think the topics explored are necessary, and I always welcome another point of view, especially when it doesn't mirror my own.

Recommendation: If you're up for a tense exploration in one young woman's coming to terms with her identity, this may speak to you.

Audience: Millennials and Beyond

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