Hari Kunzru asks the reader to consider the line between appreciation and appropriation in his gothic ghost story White Tears.
The main characters are young white music producers who bond over vintage reggae and blues. They make their living collecting and remixing music, adding fuzz, reverb, and “authenticity” to new records. They go too far when they release an undiscovered song as their own; the search for the original singer sends them into an era many Americans prefer not to remember.
Kunzru gives the reader much to think about after spinning out a violently unsettling, perfectly pitched conclusion.