In Tracy Chevalier's retelling of the play, we are transported to 1970s Washington, D.C., where an 11-year-old black boy arrives at an all-white school. But it's when his attention is drawn to one of the girls in class that the trouble really begins.
TRACY HERSELF EXPLAINS:
It felt SO good. The new book is a retelling of Shakespeare's OTHELLO and is called BLACK BOY. Set on a US school playground around 1974, it features an 11-year-old Afro boy named Osei, a girl named Dee, her friend Mimi, and the school bully Ian (all the characters except Osei are Caucasian, for more info). It is also a nostalgia trip for me, including Big Buddy Bubble Gum, Now and Laters, the Jackson Five, Roberta Flack, Hot Wheels, and bell bottoms with flowered embroidery on the hem. Ah, the 1970s...
(NOTE BY SANDRA: As a European, I only recognize the Jackson 5, Hot Wheels, and bell bottoms. The rest is that US stuff you have to google, as I always do with referents of US or Japanese culture I encounter for the first time in fiction).
Now of course I have editing to do, because a book always needs editing. You can work all you like on your own, but it's only when someone has read it that you know if it works or not. And there is always something that needs fixing.