Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, VOGUE, TIME MAGAZINE, NPR and THE ROOT
Named A 2017 BEST SUMMER READ BY
Vogue • Elle • Harper's Bazaar • Glamour • Buzzfeed • In Style • Men's Journal • Bustle • Ms. Magazine • Pop Sugar • Newsday • The Millions • Time Out • Bitch • CNN's The Lead • The Fader
"[A] cutting take on race and class...part dark comedy, part surreal morality tale. Disturbing and delicious." -People
"You’ll gulp Senna’s novel in a single sitting—but then mull over it for days.” –Entertainment Weekly
"Everyone should read it." –Vogue
From the bestselling author of Caucasia, a subversive and engrossing novel of race, class and manners in contemporary America.
As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom." Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They've even landed a starring role in a documentary about "new people" like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her--yet she can't stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria's perfect new life but her very persona.
Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves.
An Amazon Best Book of August 2017: Maria and Khalil are two biracial twenty-seven-year-olds living together in late 90s Brooklyn. Maria is doing graduate work on the Jonestown cult, and she’s planning their Martha’s Vineyard wedding. Khalil is trying to get his startup off the ground. At Stanford, Maria considered Khalil to be the “miscellaneous” black kid surrounded by white kids. But they wound up a couple, brought together in part by their similarly beige skin color. Now in Brooklyn, they are striking out toward a comfortable existence that would see them married, successful, living in a brownstone, with a kid or two bearing cool urban names. They are even being featured in a documentary called “New People,” about the sons and daughters of interracial unions. But when Maria begins to obsess about a quiet, talented black man, whom she refers to only as “the Poet,” the story really begins to open up. Acute observations on race, status, and the choices we make—as well as some clever set pieces—make this an entertaining, thought-provoking read. While the story follows a relatively simple line, there is a lot going on thematically, and that causes the narrative to judder a time or two; but this is a novel you’ll find yourself pondering the day after you’ve finished, and probably the day after that. --Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review