Harlem, 60er Jahre: die Geschichte eines einfachen Mannes, der so ehrlich wie möglich versucht aufzusteigen. Der neue Roman des zweifachen Pulitzerpreisträgers und Bestsellerautors Colson Whitehead
Eigentlich würde Ray Carney am liebsten ohne Betrügereien auskommen, doch die Einkünfte aus seinem Laden reichen nicht aus für den Standard, den die Schwiegereltern erwarten. Cousin Freddy bringt gelegentlich eine Goldkette vorbei, die Ray bei einem Juwelier versetzt. Doch was tun mit dem Raubgut aus dem Coup im legendären „Hotel Theresa“ im Herzen Harlems, nachdem Freddy sich verdünnisiert hat? Als Polizei und Gangster Ray in seinem Laden aufsuchen, steht sein waghalsiges Doppelleben auf der Kippe. Der mitreißende Roman des zweifachen Pulitzer-Preisträgers Colson Whitehead ist Familiensaga, Soziographie und Ganovenstück, vor allem aber eine Liebeserklärung an New Yorks berühmtestes Viertel.
‘Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…’
To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver’s Row don’t approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it’s still home.
Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time.
See, cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn’t see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn’t ask questions.
Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa – the ‘Waldorf of Harlem’ – and volunteers Ray’s services as the fence. The heist doesn’t go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes.
Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?
Harlem Shuffle is driven by an ingeniously intricate plot that plays out in a beautifully recreated Harlem of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.