An exclusive Q&A to discuss New Boy, a modern retelling of Othello
Historical novelist Tracy Chevalier, best known for her book, Girl with a Pearl Earring, will join the American Women’s Club of London and guests for an exclusive Zoom event on Thursday, 16 July from 7–8 p.m. to discuss her 2017 novel, New Boy. A creative modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello, the story incorporates jealousy, discrimination, casual racism, “fitting in” and other timeless themes in an unexpected setting: a 1970s school playground in suburban Washington DC (inspired by her own childhood).
The American-British author will talk about the story, the setting, the creative process, and the topical themes that resonate here and now. The interview-style conversation will be followed by a Q&A with online participants. Free for AWC members, the event is also open to others for a £10 fee. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the author’s chosen charitable organization. Register for the New Boy event here.
More About New Boy: The Story, Inspiration and Background
On her website, Chevalier explains the connection between the book and her own background:
“Like most students, my own school playground experience was at times fraught. Unusually, I grew up in an integrated neighborhood in 1960s and 1970s Washington DC, and went to a school where the majority of the students were black. So I knew what it was like to walk onto a playground where my skin color was different from many of the others, and the tension that could cause.”
New Boy, Chevalier’s ninth novel, is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, which includes “reimagining” of Shakespeare plays by authors like Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson. Her tenth novel, A Single Thread, was published in 2019.
Tracy grew up in Washington DC where her father was a photographer for the Washington Post. She did an English BA at Oberlin College, and moved to London in 1984. She was a reference book editor for several years before turning to writing full-time.
About the American Women’s Club of London (AWC)
The AWC is a diverse and inclusive community of women, providing international friendship, support and philanthropy throughout London. Founded in 1899, the Club welcomes all US citizens, as well as women of every nationality. The Club provides a busy calendar of social, cultural and educational activities (virtual or in-person), along with opportunities to serve through outreach programs with its partner charities. The AWC is a founding member of the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) and a member of the Federation of International Women’s Associations in London (FIWAL). For more information, visit awclondon.org.