Showing posts from September, 2023
Book review of  Harlem Shuffle  by Colson Whitehead September 20, 2023   Harlem Shuffle starts in 1959 and follows five years in the life of Carney, a man who, like New York City itself, operates half above and half below the water line of respectability. Carney’s legit side is that of a small business owner selling furniture to the local clientele. His criminal side comes from his father’s influence, and from his cousin Freddy, who’s a soft magnet for trouble, but who is family, after all. Carney operates in these two parallel worlds and takes the dichotomy more or less for granted. It’s a rational, inevitable series of choices for Whitehead’s average-man protagonist, even as we watch him indulge in some revenge. This, then, is the Shuffle: Casey moves down into the depths then up for air again, never quite good enough for his wife’s family nor the Harlem aristocracy, yet never quite bad enough for the hustlers and tough guys who keep barging into his life. All the characters circle a