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‘Pride’ retells Jane Austen’s classic with a New York twist

Brooklyn BookBeat

September 28, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Pride” author Ibi Zoboi. Photo by Joseph Zoboi
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From National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, the author of the critically acclaimed novel “American Street,” comes a gorgeous retelling of “Pride and Prejudice,” featuring characters of color — “Pride,” which Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, was published in hardcover on Sept. 18.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall head over heels for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand his judgmental and arrogant brother, Darius. But as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

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With four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri is determined to stick to her goals and focus on her ambitions, all the while finding her place in Bushwick’s rapidly changing landscape.

In “Pride,” Zoboi skillfully balances issues surrounding cultural identity, class and gentrification with the joy of friendship and first love in this vibrant and innovative reimagining of the beloved classic.

Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and immigrated to the U.S., settling in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with her mother when she was 4 years old. She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she was a recipient of the Norma Fox Mazer Award.

Her award-winning and Pushcart-nominated writing has been published in Haiti Noir, the Caribbean Writer, The New York Times Book Review, The Horn Book magazine and The Rumpus, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their three children. “American Street” is her first novel, followed by “Pride.”


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