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Around Harvard Square

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Race, class, and hormones combine and combust when a Harvard freshman and his two friends attempt to join the staff of the Harpoon, the school’s iconic humor magazine.

Forthcoming: 4/1/19

$14.95 $11.21

What people are saying…

Included in Publishers Weekly’s Spring 2019 Children’s Announcements

“In this throwback coming-of-age novel, an ensemble of freshmen on the margins struggle for self-definition amid the race and class complexities of Harvard . . . Through the whirlwind of their journey, they begin to question the purpose of jokes and the consequences of laughter—when it’s not just about the joke, but also about who’s making it and why (a significant, timely exploration as comedy culture today struggles to demarcate ethical boundaries) . . . The diverse ensemble of core characters defy and refuse reductive stereotypes . . . For those who would like to take a trip through the hallowed Harvard halls of the past, this goes out to you . . .”
Kirkus Reviews

“Wry, sly, and ferociously funny, Around Harvard Square is not just the satire Ivy League college life deserves, but the one it’s been waiting for.”
—Marlon James, Man Booker Prize–winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings and author of John Crow’s Devil

“Brimming with humor and heart, Around Harvard Square is a delight.”
—Andy Borowitz, creator of the New Yorker‘s “The Borowitz Report”

“The first year of college can feel as dramatic as the first moon landing and somehow C.J. Farley also turns it into a painfully funny adventure. Around Harvard Square is a coming-of-age tale that blends J.D. Salinger’s rueful tones with Paul Beatty’s biting humor and becomes something entirely its own. I had so much fun running around with these kids, it felt like seeing old friends: laughing and crying and laughing some more.”
—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

“A hysterical romp through one memorable freshman year. At Farley’s Hahvahd, it’s survival of the funniest, comedy means never having to say you’re sorry, and growing up is hard to do. A provocative pleasure.”
—Gish Jen, author of Typical American

“In this sharp and imaginative satirical fantasy, C.J. Farley explores the complex realms of race and privilege at college with humor, insight, and edge.”
—Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci

“Finally a young brother with a powerful voice, not afraid to say it loud and proud. I welcome him!”
—Terry McMillan

“Farley plays the nineties American Zeitgeist like a violin. But don’t let the laughs deceive you. He hits some literary home runs about a whole bunch of issues: politics, race, and sex.”
—Ishmael Reed


Description

Interest level: 9-up | Grade Level: HS-Adult | Lexile Level: 870 | Guided Reading Level: Z+

Tosh Livingston, superstar student-athlete from small-town USA, thinks he’s made it big as a rising freshman at Harvard University. Not so fast! Once on campus, he’s ensnared in a frenzied competition to win a spot on Harvard’s legendary humor magazine, the Harpoon. Tosh soon finds that joining the Harpoon is a weird and surprisingly dangerous pursuit. He faces off against a secret society of super-rich kids, gets schooled by a philosophy professor who loves flunking everyone, and teams up with a genius student-cartoonist with an agenda of her own. Along the way, Tosh and his band of misfit freshman friends unearth long-buried mysteries about the Ivy League that will rock the Ivory Tower and change their lives forever . . . if they can survive the semester.

With its whip-smart humor and fast-paced narrative, Around Harvard Square will appeal to readers of all ages interested in exploring the complicated roles that race and class play in higher education.

Watch a book trailer for Around Harvard Square:


Book Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Published: 4/1/19
  • IBSN: 9781617757143
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757266

Author

C.J. FARLEY has worked as a senior editor for the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, and is the author of such novels as Game World, Kingston by Starlight, and My Favorite War. Farley served as consulting producer on the Peabody-winning HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown and wrote the best-selling biographies Aaliyah: More Than a Woman and Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley. Farley, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, is a graduate of Harvard and a former editor of the Harvard Lampoon. He is currently an executive editor at Audible. His latest novel is Around Harvard Square.

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