Sag Harbor (2009) Benji Cooper, the hero of Colson Whitehead's autobiographical fourth novel, Sag Harbor , is one of the few blacks at his Manhattan prep school and… 2009-04-28 Fiction Doubleday
Book Review

Sag Harbor (2009)

Sag Harbor | Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Apr 28, 2009; Writer: Colson Whitehead; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Doubleday

Benji Cooper, the hero of Colson Whitehead's autobiographical fourth novel, Sag Harbor, is one of the few blacks at his Manhattan prep school and a Dungeons & Dragons fan. He's one part Cosby kid, one part Oscar Wao. Like Junot Díaz's übergeek, Benji has a knack for witty observations about his life — particularly his summers on the East End of Long Island. But while Benji's voice is compelling, the plot is sand-dollar thin. Whitehead rhapsodizes about familiar teenage high jinks but drops only hints about major conflict in the future (a buddy shot dead in drug-related violence). Nostalgia that doesn't carry the full weight of hindsight feels a lot like solipsism. B

Originally posted Apr 29, 2009 Published in issue #1046 May 08, 2009 Order article reprints