Review: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

I have ambivalent feelings towards Tracy Chevalier’s New Boy. Everything I would label as a weakness is either justified within the text, or partially required by her allegiance to her inspiration: OthelloNew Boy is the latest in the Hogarth Shakespeare project which asks modern authors for retellings of Shakespeare’s works. Some of Chevalier’s nods to Othello are clever, but some are gimmicky because conflicts originally depicted between adults can’t be mapped 1:1 onto 11-year-olds at recess. Since every negative is at least partially justifiable, I’m going to break from my usual format and adopt a criticism/response style. I usually recommend books to people because I think they’ll enjoy them, but I’m going to recommend New Boy to hear what my fellow bloggers and friends make of it. read more