Sag Harbour

Colson Whitehead
Harvill Secker

Sag Harbour perfectly portrays the constant and mortifying awkwardness of teenage existence.

Benji is the son of a lawyer and a doctor, and, for most of the year, is one of the only black students who attend an elite prep school in Manhattan. Desperate to fit in, 15-year-old Benji is pre-occupied with finding a social group to accept him, and strives to dress, talk and act accordingly. Every summer Benji and his whole family escape city living and relocate to Sag Harbour, a community built by black-professionals on Long Island.

Sag Harbour is the fourth novel from critically acclaimed author, Colson Whitehead. The story is set in 1985, with hyper self-aware Benji battling to create an individual identity separate to his younger brother Reggie. Subtle and beautifully written, Sag Harbour captures the youthful anticipation for the long summer holiday with moments that are laugh-out-loud funny. Teenage alienation is a collective human experience, everyone can identify with the themes and emotions of Benji’s Sag Harbour summer.

Samantha Cracknell