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Jardine Libaire is the author of the novel Here Kitty Kitty, and the creative nonfiction book Gravity Is Stronger Here (a collaboration with photographer Phyllis Dooney). Originally from New York, she now lives in Austin. She's a volunteer teacher in the Truth Be Told writing programme for incarcerated women in Texas.
Author photo © Justine Gilcrease
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. It's Romeo and Juliet modern grunge style when Elise Perez, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and colour meets Jamey Hyde, the scion of a rich family studying at Yale. The attraction is raunchy and immediate and they soon move to Manhattan. What develops is raw, a clash of worlds and sensibilities, mental health frailties and exacerbated emotions. When Jamey's family vengefully attack their relationship, the couple embark on an odyssey of lust, drug taking and despair that can only lead to a dark conclusion at the end of the twisted road. Despite the basic set up, this is not a book for young adults, but rather a tale of young adults abandoned by hope and hanging on to the anchor of their love, inarticulate, drowning and on a slippery road to nowhere. Libaire (and Elise) has a distinct voice, sardonic, sad and picturesque, with a wonderful touch for the telling details (such as Elise's coat, which gives the book its title). A familiar but fascinating tale. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
'A love story of equal parts grit and glamour' Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers For Elise and Jamey, real love is not all hearts and flowers. It's gritty, transgressive, and infuriating. Jamey belongs to New York's elegant, ferocious elite, and feels 'owned' by his privileged background; Elise is from a mixed-race family and is uncensored, brave, idiosyncratic. They meet by chance and the bond is instant, but the situation quickly spins out of control. Set against the technicolour landscape of mid-80s New York, White Fur is a tale of money, class, sex and family; it questions what we will do to be free, and what it means to love like we might die tomorrow. 'Brilliantly written and deeply felt' Philipp Meyer, author of The Son '[The] poet laureate of late nights and young love' Ada Calhoun, author of St Marks is Dead
Elise, a street-smart girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and Jamey, the golden boy scion of a wealthy and powerful East Coast family make an unlikely couple. At first theirs is a tale of sexual obsession and wanting to have something you shouldn't. Jamey is both attracted by Elise and repelled by her - she is gritty, uncouth, abrupt and a million miles from his rarefied social circle. In some ways he hates her, yet he keeps coming back for more. For Elise, the attraction to Jamey is visceral. She sees something in him beyond the rich boy mask, and she has always loved to test the boundaries, defying anyone who tries to stop her. But as they get to know each other what started as a challenge gradually transforms and they get to see beyond social class and upbringing to the real person beneath. Their obsession slowly turns into something more like love, and Elise creates in Jamey the lover she wants and needs. In turn he leaves behind his Yale education and divorces his family and their wealth, and they invent a new life together that surprises them both. But Jamey's controlling family are not going to give him up easily and Elise and Jamey will have to fight for the ending they want to their story...
Amazon Best Book / Literature + FictionBarnes & Noble Discover PickHuffington Post ';Great New Books' for Summer 2017Vulture's 10 Summer Reads Kirkus's 11 Thrillers for Summer 2017 New York Magazine's Things to Do June 2017A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn't graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore. The couple moves to Manhattan in search of a new life, and White Fur follows them as they wander through Newport mansions and East Village dives, WASP-establishment yacht clubs and the grimy streets below Canal Street, fighting the forces determined to keep them apart. White Fur combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.