By a powerful new voice in American fiction comes the story of a young black man coming to terms with his own race Jonah Winters has it all. An Ivy Leaguer born to expatriate parents, he is never in want for money and calls both New York City and Paris his home. Aware that his fortunes are rare for a black man like himself, he attempts to give back by teaching English at a New York City public school only to be profoundly disillusioned by his apathetic students. When a friend offers Jonah a chance to escape down to South America, he accepts, ready to leave the struggling African-American community to solve their own problems. But before he can make a clean break, a chance encounter with a former globetrotting basketball coach alters his journey from one of self-discovery to one of maturation.
In his exciting and singular debut, McCarthy confronts difficult questions of race, identity and class with daring, and breathtaking storytelling.
About the Author
Jesse McCarthy has written for several publications including The New York Times, n+1, and the New Republic. He is a contributing editor at The Point and is an associate professor of English, African American, and African History at Harvard.
"A gorgeous, virtuosic novel! In exquisite, often ecstatic, prose, McCarthy gives us a portrait of the artist as a young black man--or rather, as a set of young black men, brothers and friends and rivals. This is blackness as it collides with class and love. Blackness in its uneasy relationship to Europe and the Americas. Blackness in all of its inner intricacy, tension, and beauty. Blackness shattered from the inside, each facet spinning, in McCarthy's own words, in "a hypnotic dance like shards in a kaleidoscope." —Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift
"The debut novel from McCarthy, Harvard professor and author of essays destined to be taught in classrooms for years to come (among them “Notes on Trap”), The Fugitivities takes place in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Brazil, with Parisian interludes. The novel explores the collision of a teacher in crisis with a basketball coach yearning for a lost love, carrying the former on a journey that will change everything." —Lydia Kiesling, The Millions Most Anticipated Books 2019