White, Black and Blue

9780451493699_50a6dOn NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, author Hari Kunzru is interviewed about his new book, White Tears (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio), a story about two white hipsters from Brooklyn who become deeply involved in collecting old Blues music. NPR calls it “a mystery, a coming of age story, a history.”

The interview explores the complex historical relationship between the black creators of the Blues and the “elite white men” who collected the music, making it popular with other elite whites and, in the process, turning it into an “image that suited them.” One of the most famous collectors made recordings from Southern penitentiaries without seeming to be touched by the conditions suffered there.

Reviews are very strong. The Washington Post calls the novel “captivating” and writes “Kunzru’s graceful writing is exquisitely attuned to his material … White Tears is a profoundly darker and more complex story of a haunting that elucidates the iniquitous history of white appropriation of black culture.”

The Huffington Post calls it “The Horror Story La La Land Should Have Become.”

It is also a March Indie Next pick.

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