Thinner, Blonder, Whiter: A Novel

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9780786712991: Thinner, Blonder, Whiter: A Novel
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This dashing debut novel opens with Julia Moran at the height of the publishing world and at the center of New York culture. As editor of the country's most prominent African-American writers, Julia is the white queen of black literature—she's also sleeping with its reigning king, Samuel Reid. His bestselling book—which she coauthored—has made his support essential for any candidate's appeal to black voters in the current mayoral race. While candidates squabble over the issues, one issue takes top priority: improving the city's education. When a friend of Julia's turns up murdered and Samuel Reid mysteriously disappears, Julia leaves her day job in a quest for the truth. Ultimately, Julia emerges as a woman ready to tackle whatever may lie in her path.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Julia Moran, "the white queen of black literature," is trying to savor her moment as a publishing whiz kid when she hits gravel in this high-concept debut from book editor/publisher Maguire. The debacle is precipitated by the unexplained murder of a family friend, William Fitzgerald ("Fitz"), a gentle soul who tutored disadvantaged kids and moonlighted at a midtown Manhattan hotel. That the killer was sending a message seems obvious, the victim's corpse was splayed in the hotel's freezer like jumbo shrimp on ice. Meanwhile, Julia's most important author vanishes during a fund-raiser honoring black achievement. A stirring orator with a prosthetic arm and a prodigious ego, Samuel Reid is the new messiah of African-American letters and hot for Julia, whenever he can get away from the wife and family. Maguire's cunning social portraiture may dampen the suspense, but most readers will be mesmerized as Julia cruises the black wine-and-cheese circuit, bar-crawls with her lesbian co-worker, Mel, and noshes on precinct coffee and corned beef with detective Thomas Lynch, who is investigating both Fitz's murder and Reid's disappearance (and surprises Julia with his temperance and couth). The only clue to the killer's identity a folder of standardized score sheets from one of the city's poorest school districts is utterly bemusing at first, yet Maguire ultimately wrests a provocative denouement from this unlikely smoking gun. Still, the best fun in the novel may be the noir characterizations and asides of Julia's smart-aleck publishing pals.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Maguire, associate publisher of Basic Books, makes her fiction debut with this slightly sleazy story about Julia Moran, who, despite being white, has made a name for herself as the editor of some of the country's most prominent black writers. She might have a high-profile job, but her personal life is a mess: she's sleeping with one of her married best-selling authors, and her brother is a serious alcoholic who is constantly turning up in her apartment in various stages of befuddlement. When her brother's best friend is found dead and her lover goes missing, Julia is forced to do some digging and finds out that all the mayhem is related to covering up corruption in school testing of minority students. What with all the trendy New York settings, a cornucopia of drugs, a conference on hip-hop music, and plenty of steamy and wild sex (despite the obstacles imposed by Julia's lover's artificial arm), you might think Maguire is positioning herself as a younger, hipper, edgier Jackie Collins. It just might work. Perfect beach reading. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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9780786710195: Thinner, Blonder, Whiter: A Novel

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ISBN 10:  0786710195 ISBN 13:  9780786710195
Publisher: Carroll & Graf, 2002
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