Now we've got a release date (for next month) as well as character names and a few relevant plot details!!
Add my own expectations for the book, translated or in original US English, or both, to arrive in Spain --El Corte Inglés offers shipping of the original already, but it won't be released until late May...
The perfect self-gift as a carrot to cram for the last university exams, the ones that will break or make my career!!
Since I had a pretty unconventional primary at a mental institution and all my classmates were mutes or echolalics, and it was a friendless secondary to high school teenage that introduced me to feeling LEFT OUT and clashing with classmates, my experience of primary school was not first-hand. Hitherto, all my experience of the social dynamics of recess had come from TV, from shows like Recess and various anime. I wanted to be an Ashley at heart, but I got gradually used to being one of the Pale Kids. Anyway, Napoleon had been one of them as well as a cadet and lieutenant!
So I'm really looking forwards to this... and I'll have to blog the review (and also the Waterfire reviews and those of KKPCàlM, while also doing all my Terminology homework; all that will make me type MORE THAN Alexander Hamilton)...
Osei Kokote is an diplomat’s son, newly posted to 1970s Washington, DC with his father. With only a few weeks of school left before the summer holidays, and graduation to junior high (secondary), he’s been enrolled in the local elementary (primary) school as a way to break him in softly, and give him the chance to meet new friends. This, as Osei knows only too well, is ridiculous. His parents don’t understand what it feels like to be the only black boy in a white sea of faces, among snide children and bigoted teachers. He does. He’s an expert at starting new schools: at always being the new boy, the oddity, standing out in Rome, London... And he’s used to the fact that, on your first day, no one cares for the new boy.
As her contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare series of contemporary retellings of the Bard’s works, Tracy Chevalier turns Othello into the story of a disastrous chain of events that follows a black student’s (Ghanan foreign service brat Osei Kokote's) arrival at a white elementary (primary) school in suburban Washington, D.C., the capital of the US.
I was 11 in 1974... I grew up in Washington, DC, and lived in an integrated neighbourhood and went to a school that was about 80% black, and so I had the unusual experience of being a white minority. And I wanted to write about that, although I have flipped it ... the book opens with a black boy walking onto an all-white playground, and it's about what happens to him over the course of the day.
- Othello - "O" or Osei , the son of a Ghanan diplomat, whose name means "noble" in his language. He is the "new boy" of the title - this is his fourth school in at least three different cities in six years.
- Desdemona - Dee, short for Daniela, the most popular girl in the sixth grade, although her mother is very strict and she goes home for lunch every day. She is assigned by their teacher to take care of O on his first day.
- Iago - Ian, the clever sixth grade bully (and the villain of the play).
- Emilia - Mimi, Dee's best friend, now "going with" Ian although she wants out of it.
- Cassio - Casper, the most popular boy in the sixth grade.
- Roderigo - Rod, Ian's sidekick, who has a crush on Dee.
- Bianca - Blanca, Dee's and Mimi's friend who is "going with" Casper.
- Brabantio - Mr. Brabant, the teacher for O, Dee, Casper, and Blanca, a Vietnam veteran.
- Lodovico - Miss Lode, the teacher for Ian, Mimi, and Rod.
- Montano - Miss Montano, the school nurse.
- The Duke of Venice - Mrs. Duke, the school principal (headmistress).
...to reference ... the games we played, the slang we used, the candy we ate, how school worked, how I felt in school, and all that stuff came rushing back. It was it was a great experience and very different from what I normally ... write, historical novels that are set ... centuries ago and have nothing to do with me.
"Doesn't she fall in love with one boy after another?" Ian interjected. "She's fickle like that. Lucky boys."
"Only because of what you do. It's just magic," Dee explained, as O's face darkened. "It's a comedy, so it turns out alright in the end."
"Who do you play?" O demanded of Ian.
"He plays Puck," Dee said. "The head fairy who makes all the mischief happen."