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.