Described by The Guardian as a “satire of cultural appropriation”, White Tears is the 5th novel by writer and journalist Hari Kunzru.
Described as a ghost story, this murder mystery-esque fictional novel explores music duo Seth and Carter, two white boys who ‘love’ Black music, to the extent that they re-record a Blues song and frame it as an original, leading to very, very dark repercussions.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book, and it is commonly referred to as an ode to forgotten/underestimated black musicians of the 20th century, needless to say I had high expectations. Were they met? Kind of… I think Kunzru writes well and definitely touches on a range of things, for example, he highlights how black culture is often appropriated by people who have little regard for actual black people, causes or issues. However, I feel, it is a stretch to deem his novel as one of the most important novels, as some critics have claimed.
The author, Kunzru was born in London and has written for The Guardian, and Daily Telegraph and is the author of the novels, The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods Without Men, all of which have received critical acclaim.
I don’t pretend to be a murder mystery/crime fiction kinda gal, so I guess I was the book’s toughest critic. That being said, I really did get into the first half of the novel, it all just became a bit disjointed, and instead of finding it spooky or haunting, I got confused. That probably says a lot about me though rather than the book. I recommend giving this book a go, as overall, I did enjoy reading it, it’s just not my best book of 2017.