Current Stock:
UPC: 9781571311252
Author: Deni Ellis Béchard
Out of stock
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions (October 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781571311252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571311252
  • ASIN: 1571311254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

Assigned to write an exposé on Richmond Hew, one of the most elusive and corrupt figures in the conservation world, a journalist finds himself on a plane to the Congo, a country he thinks he understands. But when he meets Sola, a woman looking for a rootless white orphan girl who believes herself possessed by a skin-stealing demon, he slowly uncovers a tapestry of corruption and racial tensions generations in the making.

This harrowing search leads him into an underground network of sinners and saints―and straight to the heart of his own complicity. An anthropologist who treats orphans like test subjects. A community of charismatic Congolese preachers. Street children who share accounts of abandonment and sexual abuse. A renowned and revered conservationist who vanishes. And then there is the journalist himself, lost in his own misunderstanding of privilege and the myth of whiteness, and plagued by traumatic memories of his father. At first seemingly unrelated, these disparate elements coalesce one by one into a map of Richmond Hew’s movements.


“A compelling literary fantasia . . . Deni Ellis Béchard’s fifth book blends fiction, literary and cultural criticism, parody and memoir . . . it is as unsettling as it is thought-provoking.”Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A tale that feel like James Michener and Gabriel Garcia Márquez joined forces to craft a meditation on race. . . . In White, there is nothing clean cut about the way whiteness manifests in geopolitics . . . Captivating, careening, thrilling, and magical, this is intelligent entertainment.”Foreword Reviews (starred review)

“Bechard’s richly nuanced prose and vividly drawn characters make captivating reading while offering provocative food for thought about humanitarianism, corruption, and racial tensions in Africa.”Booklist

“Remarkable . . . White is a thriller, an adventure story, a literary novel that interrogates what the possession of whiteness means to those seen as white. His novel also crosses the boundary of the what defines a novel.”―Signature


Deni Ellis Béchard is the author of five other books: Vandal Love, winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize; Cures for Hunger, a memoir; Of Bonobos and Men, winner of the 2015 Nautilus Book Award for investigative journalism; Into the Sun, winner of the 2017 Midwest Book Award for Literary Fiction; and Kuei, My Friend: A Conversation on Racism and Reconciliation, an epistolary book coauthored with First Nations poet Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine. His articles, fiction, and photos have been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the LA TimesSalonReuters, the Paris Review, the GuardianPatagoniaLa Repubblica, the WalrusPacific StandardLe DevoirVanity Fair Italia, the Herald Scotland, the Huffington Post, the Harvard Review, the National Post, and Foreign Policy. He has reported from India, Cuba, Rwanda, Colombia, Iraq, the Congo, and Afghanistan.