White Fur: A Novel (Paperback)
Elise Perez, a high school drop out, grew up in public housing. Jamey Hyde, a Yale student, is the scion of a famously wealthy family. Jardine Libaire teases the reader along, gradually unwinding the development of their relationship out as they fumble along discovering each other and themselves, and surprising everyone. It is the 1980s and New York and they are young, and so there is lots of sex, but the innocence remains. Love is timeless.— From Lyn
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.
“A fairy tale of love and class and money and death and New York City in the 1980's, as seen through eyes so new and so young that everything seems like magic all the time…What holds it together is ferocity — Libaire's elegant, incongruous, glitz-and-trash command of the language of youth and young love, and the uncompromising fire of her main characters as they drift and dash from page to page.”—NPR
"Each page crackles with the intensity, fury, lust, and pure insane pleasure of first love. Jardine Libaire has written a chronicle of one couple's wild romance: its highs and lows, its delights and contractions, its beauty and its messiness. A delight to read."—Nathan Hill, author of The Nix
"Brilliantly written and deeply felt, this is a love story by turns comic and tragic, but always moving. Whether her characters are on the social register or the welfare roll, Libaire is a keen observer of human nature.”—Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
“Two barely-20-somethings from opposite sides of the tracks fall in frantic love amid the lush grit of New York City in the 1980s…The real strength of the novel is its Technicolor atmosphere: Libaire’s New York is a glittering whirlwind, raw and sweaty and intoxicating. A page-turning whirlwind steeped in pain and hope.”
“A love story of equal parts grit and glamour, I loved White Fur for its honest portrait of the extremes of American society, and the love that can bloom anywhere, always, despite the odds. Jardine Libaire is an extraordinary talent.”—Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers
"Writing with all the senses, Libaire demonstrates an ability to evoke vivid moods and places, drawing a stark and realistic depiction of ’80s Manhattan. She also succeeds at giving equal weight and attention to both her protagonists, elegantly toggling between their perspectives. The most lively, memorable, and convincing character in the novel is the setting itself."—Publishers Weekly
“[The] setting is viscerally exposed and uniquely gritty, and Libaire’s meaty, brazen, Ferrari-fast sentences prop it up well.” —Booklist
"White Fur is glorious: dark, dirty, and sexy, lit up with yearning and raw, young love. Libaire's sentences left me breathless. This is a Roman candle of a novel. I absolutely loved it."—Amanda Eyre Ward, author of The Nearness of You and What Was Lost
"This sexy American fairytale about a star-crossed couple solidifies Jardine Libaire’s status as poet laureate of late nights and young love."—Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead
"A sexy, literary love story...White Fur would merely be an excellent exploration of the power dynamic between two lovers if the prose wasn't so evocative and the sex scenes so torrid."—Maris Kreizman, Vulture