We Love You, Charlie Freeman: A Novel

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9781616204679: We Love You, Charlie Freeman: A Novel
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A FINALIST FOR THE 2016 CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE AND THE 2017 YOUNG LIONS AWARD

“A terrifically auspicious debut.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Smart, timely and powerful . . . A rich examination of America’s treatment of race, and the ways we attempt to discuss and confront it today.” —The Huffington Post


The Freeman family--Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie--have been invited to the Toneybee Institute to participate in a research experiment. They will live in an apartment on campus with Charlie, a young chimp abandoned by his mother. The Freemans were selected because they know sign language; they are supposed to teach it to Charlie and welcome him as a member of their family. But when Charlotte discovers the truth about the institute’s history of questionable studies, the secrets of the past invade the present in devious ways.  

The power of this shattering novel resides in Greenidge’s undeniable storytelling talents. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters, of sisterhood put to the test, of adolescent love and grown-up misconduct, and of history’s long reach, becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.

“A magnificently textured, vital, visceral feat of storytelling . . . [by] a sharp, poignant, extraordinary new voice of American literature.” —Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

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“Full of humor and aching, an important debut from an important writer . . . A masterful meditation on race, anthropology, history, and the hurly-burly complications of family.” —Bill Cheng, author of Southern Cross the Dog

We Love You, Charlie Freeman is a coming-of-age novel, a romance, and even a historical drama; it’s politically astute and relentlessly humane. This book is remarkable, and its author, Kaitlyn Greenidge, is a star.” —Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver

“Greenidge’s debut novel slips a very skillful knife under the skin of American life . . . She is surgically brilliant when it comes to the issue of race: she pushes the story into brand-new territory. The novel does what all good art should do--it creates an appearance of ease, but then it returns to haunt and question us. This is an allegory that pays tribute to Ellison, to Morrison, to Wideman and Doctorow, and it is  every bit as necessary and provocative as Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin

“Disturbing and deeply thoughtful . . . A telling of how we come to understand or misunderstand our most intimate human elements within the racialized and gendered culture we live in.” —Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning

“People are always pronouncing that books ‘have heart’--but the difference between the ordinary kind of heart we mean when we say this and the heart that fuels We Love You, Charlie Freeman is like the difference between Valentine caricatures and the real, beating thing. Each revelation is a gut-punch, and all of it rings on and on long after the final page is turned. There couldn’t be a timelier or more necessary mirror than the one Greenidge holds up.” —Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

About the Author:

Kaitlyn Greenidge received her MFA from Hunter College, where she studied with Nathan Englander and Peter Carey, and was Colson Whitehead’s writing assistant as part of the Hertog Research Fellowship. Greenidge was the recipient of the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize. She was a Bread Loaf scholar, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace artist-in-residence, and a Johnson State College visiting emerging writer. Her work has appeared in the Believer, the Feminist Wire, At Length, Fortnight Journal, Green Mountains Review, Afrobeat Journal, the Tottenville Review, and American Short Fiction. Originally from Boston, she now lives in Brooklyn.

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9781616206444: We Love You, Charlie Freeman: A Novel

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ISBN 10:  1616206446 ISBN 13:  9781616206444
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9781410492081: We Love You Charlie Freeman (Thorndike Press Large Print African-American)

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