New Boy

New Boy

Othello Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare)

By  Tracy Chevalier

One of our most successful historical novelists transplants the tragedy of Othello to a playground in 1970s Washington D.C. : when a young black boy arrives at an all-white school, he finds himself at the centre of a web of jealousy, bullying and revenge.

'O felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back.'

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s’ suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching over the shoulders of four 11-year-olds – Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi – Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

Format & Editions

Trade Paperback

9781781090329

May 15, 2017

Hogarth

RRP $29.99

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Hardback

9781781090312

May 18, 2017

Hogarth

RRP $35.00

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EBook

9781473520370

May 11, 2017

Vintage Digital

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Extract

Dee noticed him before anyone else. She was glad of that, held on to it. It made her feel special to have him to herself for a few seconds, before the world around them skipped a beat and did not recover for the rest of the day.

The playground was busy before school. Enough children had arrived early that games of jacks and kickball and hopscotch had begun, to be abandoned when the bell rang. Dee herself had not been early— her mother had sent her upstairs to change her top for something looser, saying Dee had spilled egg on it, though Dee herself couldn’t see any yolk. She’d had to run part of the way to school, braids thumping against her back, until the stream of students heading the same direction reassured her she was not late. She had gotten to the playground with a minute to spare before the first bell rang.