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Kunzru’s White Tears explores American racism through the lens of music

THE 10 BEST NOVELS

BY SARAH BEGLEY

1. SING, UNBURIED, SING, JESMYN WARD

Ward’s third book set in the fictional town of Bois Sauvage, based on her hometown of DeLisle, Miss., conjures the same raw emotion of her previous works, like the Hurricane Katrina novel Salvage the Bones. But this time, a sense of magical realism deepens the ghostly sense of the past reaching out to touch—or even strangle—the present. Ward’s novel is a true triple threat, expert in prose, human observation and social commentary.

2. WHITE TEARS, HARI KUNZRU

The British novelist skewers American culture in this treatise on whiteness and cultural appropriation. Two young white men breaking into the music industry find success when they record random noises in a New York City park and discover the voice of a man who

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