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White Tears: Book summary and reviews of White Tears by Hari Kunzru

White Tears

by Hari Kunzru

White Tears by Hari Kunzru X
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
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  • Published Mar 2017
    288 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From one of the most talented fiction writers at work today: two ambitious young musicians are drawn into the dark underworld of blues record collecting, haunted by the ghosts of a repressive past.

Two twenty-something New Yorkers. Seth is awkward and shy. Carter is the glamorous heir to one of America's great fortunes. They have one thing in common: an obsession with music. Seth is desperate to reach for the future. Carter is slipping back into the past. When Seth accidentally records an unknown singer in a park, Carter sends it out over the Internet, claiming it's a long lost 1920s blues recording by a musician called Charlie Shaw. When an old collector contacts them to say that their fake record and their fake bluesman are actually real, the two young white men, accompanied by Carter's troubled sister Leonie, spiral down into the heart of the nation's darkness, encountering a suppressed history of greed, envy, revenge, and exploitation. White Tears is a ghost story, a terrifying murder mystery, a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of American music.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In his most accessible book to date, Kunzru takes on the vinyl-digging gentrification culture with a historical conscience." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A well-turned and innovative tale that cannily connects old-time blues and modern-day minstrelsy." - Kirkus

"Alas, this proves to be more muddled than masterful, with so many multilayered intentions and garbled narration, not unlike the skipping of the old vinyl 78s." - Booklist

"From the author of Gods Without Men and My Revolutions comes something different and imaginative, occasionally gloomy and affected. A stirring story of audiophiles, rare recordings, slavery, and the dangers of uncovering the past." - Library Journal

"A compulsively readable ghost story which features masterly - tour de force - writing about early American blues." - Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers

"White Tears is a hallucinatory and eerily accurate journey into America's racial unconscious - like an updated version of The Crying of Lot 49, in which race itself is the secret and arcane system that controls all of us in ways we never fully understand. In an era when the past seems to be collapsing into the present on a daily basis, you couldn't find a more urgently necessary, compulsively readable book." - Jess Row, author of Your Face in Mine

"White Tears is a masterful ghost story about a blues song which may or may not exist, but is definitely alive. Sound, in Kunzru's hands, is both force and material, carrying fear, power, and revenge from body to body. When someone cries "Rewind," proceed with caution. History is audible." - Sasha Frere-Jones

This information about White Tears was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Hari Kunzru Author Biography

Hari Kunzru is the author of five previous novels: White Tears, The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions, and Gods Without Men. His work has been translated into twenty-one languages, and his short stories and journalism have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Public Library, and the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author Interview
Link to Hari Kunzru's Website

Name Pronunciation
Hari Kunzru: HAR-ee KUNE-zroo

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