From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt USA, Portobello UK and Commonwealth, Pax Norway, and Ambo-Anthos Netherlands.
WHITEMAN is an extraordinary debut novel about a maverick American relief worker deep in the West African bush. Although funding for his official mandate has been cut off, Jack Diaz refuses to leave his post, a Muslim village in the Ivory Coast, as Christians and Muslims square off for war. Against a backdrop of bloody sectarian conflict and vibrant African life, Jack and his village guardian, Mamadou, learn that hate knows no color, that true heroism waits for us where we least expect it.
During lulls in the violence, Jack learns the cycles of Africa—of hunting in the rainforest, cultivating the yam, navigating the nuances of the language; of witchcraft, storytelling, and chivalry. Despite the omnipresence of AIDS, he courts Djamilla, the stunning Peul girl, meets Mariam, his neighbor's wife, in the darkened forest when the moon is new, and desperately pursues Mazatou, the village flirt. Still, Jack spends many a night alone in his hut, longing for love in a place where his skin color excludes him.
- The New York Times Book Review Editor's Pick
- The American Academy of Arts & Letters Sue Kaufman Award, Best First Fiction
- Finalist, LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award, Best First Fiction
- Finalist, PEN American Center/Robert Bingham Fellowship Award
- Finalist, The New York Public Library Young Lions Award
- Florida Gold Medal for General Fiction
- A Whiteman Chapter in the 2007 O. Henry Awards Anthology
- 4 Star People Magazine Critic's Choice
- Poets & Writers Magazine Best First Fiction
- Peace Corps Writers Organization Maria Thomas Fiction Award
- Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award
- Border's Original Voices Selection
- Condé Nast Traveler's 'Greatest Fiction Travel Books of All Time' list
The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair heralded Whiteman as one of the most anticipated novels of the year, Nerve Magazine nominated it for Best Sex Scene of the Year, and it has debuted to widespread critical acclaim. Read some of the reviews here.
The New York Times (requires registration)
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