Seth Greenland’s witty, clear-eyed new novel is a story of interconnecting lives, in which generations, races, and religions converge and conflict.
Jay Gladstone was born to privilege. He is a civic leader and a generous philanthropist, as well as the owner of an NBA team. But in today’s New York, even a wealthy man’s life can spin out of control, no matter the money or influence he possesses.
Jay sees himself as a moral man, determined not to repeat his father’s mistakes. He would rather focus on his unstable second marriage and his daughter Aviva than worry about questions of race or privilege. However, he moves through a sensitive and aware world: that of Dag Maxwell, the black star forward, and white Officer Russell Plesko, who makes a decision that has resonating consequences—particularly for DA Christine Lupo, whose hopes for a future in politics will rest on an explosive prosecution.
Set during Barack Obama’s presidency, this artful novel illuminates contemporary America and does not shy away from our scalding social divide: why is conversation about race so fraught, to what degree is the justice system impartial, and does great wealth inoculate those who have it? At times shocking, but always recognizable, this captivating tale explores the aftermath of unforgivable errors and the unpredictability of the court of public opinion. With a brilliant eye for character, Greenland creates a story that mixes biting humor with uncomfortable truth.
Seth Greenland is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and author of five novels, including Shining City (a Washington Post Best Book of the Year) and The Hazards of Good Fortune (nominated for the 2019 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger). Born in New York City, Greenland lives in Los Angeles with his wife.