DANZY SENNA reads from her new novel NEW PEOPLE

New People (Riverhead Books)

As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom." Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They've even landed a starring role in a documentary about "new people" like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her--yet she can't stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria's perfect new life but her very persona. Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves.

Praise for New People

"Senna's fearless novel is equal parts beguiling and disturbing... Senna combines the clued-in status details you'd find in a New York magazine article with the narrative invention of big-league fiction.... Every detail and resonant. A great book about race and a great book all around." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred) 

"New People sparkles with precision, and with antic and merciless hilarity. I was seduced into reading it in one sitting, but will be thinking about it for a long time to come. This book--utterly grave, and yet beautifully light-hearted--is a wonder. --Rachel Kushner, author of The Flame Throwers 

"I stayed up way later than planned to finish New People, Danzy Senna's riveting, take-no-prisoners, dystopic dream of a novel. More scorcher than satire, New People loads identity, race, despair, and desire into a blender then hits high. Get ready to stay up late, to be propelled, pricked, and haunted." --Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts 

"Danzy Senna detonates the bomb between respectability and desire. In hypnotizing prose, New People kicks you in the gut, then sings you a lullaby. Read this and be haunted. Senna is a master." --Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day

Danzy Senna's first novel, the bestselling Caucasia, won the Stephen Crane Award for Best New Fiction and the American Library Association's Alex Award, was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. A recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, Senna is also the author of the novel Symptomatic, the memoir Where Did You Sleep Last Night?, and the story collection You Are Free. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the novelist Percival Everett, and their sons. 


Danzy Senna photo by Mara Casey

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
New People Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594487095
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 1st, 2017

You Are Free: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594485077
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Riverhead Books - May 3rd, 2011

Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - March 30th, 2010

Caucasia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781573227162
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 1st, 1999