By Hari Kunzru
A PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD FINALIST
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • GQ • Time • The Economist • Slate • HuffPost • Book Riot
Ghost story, murder mystery, love letter to American music--White Tears is all of this and more, a thrilling investigation of race and appropriation in society today.
Seth is a shy, awkward twentysomething. Carter is more glamorous, the heir to a great American fortune. But they share an obsession with music--especially the blues. One day, Seth discovers that he's accidentally recorded an unknown blues singer in a park. Carter puts the file online, claiming it's a 1920s recording by a made-up musician named Charlie Shaw. But when a music collector tells them that their recording is genuine--that there really was a singer named Charlie Shaw--the two white boys, along with Carter's sister, find themselves in over their heads, delving deeper and deeper into America's dark, vengeful heart. White Tears is a literary thriller and a meditation on art--who owns it, who can consume it, and who profits from it.