White Front Cover

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9781772012088
Pages: 304
Pub. Date: May 7 2018
Dimensions: 8.5" x 5.5" x 0.75"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Non-Fiction / POL053000

  • FICTION / Literary
  • POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism
  • POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / African

     Shop local bookstores

From the author of Into the Sun and Vandal Love, acclaimed for “prose that’s both lyrical and gritty, able to evoke big emotions with exquisite intimacy” (O, The Oprah Magazine), White is a riveting novel that explores whiteness, modern humanitarianism, and the lies of American exceptionalism and white supremacy.

Assigned to write an exposé on Richmond Hew, the conservation world’s most elusive and corrupt humanitarian worker, an intrepid journalist finds himself on a plane to the Democratic Republic of the Congo – a country he thinks he understands. But when he meets Sola, a woman searching for a rootless white orphan who believes herself possessed by a skin-stealing demon, he slowly uncovers a tapestry of corruption and racial tensions generations in the making.

This harrowing search leads him into an underground network of sinners and saints – and everything in between: an anthropologist who treats orphans like test subjects; a community of charismatic Congolese preachers; street children who share accounts of sexual abuse and abandonment; a renowned and revered conservationist who suddenly vanishes. And then there is the journalist himself, Deni Béchard, lost in his own misunderstanding of privilege and the myth of whiteness, and plagued by traumatic memories of his father. At first seemingly unrelated, these disparate elements coalesce one by one into a map of Richmond Hew’s movements.

Fevered and dreamlike, White offers readers a poignant re-entry into the haunting and psychologically complex world of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

“Remarkable ... White is a thriller, an adventure story, a literary novel that interrogates what the possession of whiteness means to those seen as white. His novel also crosses the boundary of what defines a novel.”

“A compelling literary fantasia ... Deni Ellis Bechard's fifth book blends fiction, literary and cultural criticism, parody and memoir ... it is as unsettling as it is thought-provoking.”
—David Varno, Minneapolis Star tribune

Captivating, careening, thrilling, and magical, this is intelligent entertainment.”
—Jessie Horness, Foreword Reviews

“Bechard’s richly nuanced prose and vividly drawn characters make captivating reading while offering provocative food for thought about humanitarianism, corruption, and racial tensions in Africa.”
—Carl Hays, Booklist