Whitegirl is a novel about the landscape of race, written in the wake of the sensational OJ Simpson murder trial of the 1990s. It examines the love affair of a glamorous, naive white woman, Charlotte Halsey, and Milo Robicheaux, the first black Olympic skier, turned movie star. The story opens as Charlotte is recovering from a brutal attack that has left her unable to speak. Milo is in jail, accused of the crime, and Charlotte is not sure of his guilt. As she considers their life together, Charlotte tries to hold fast to the American ideal that race does not matter, while examining her own role in the racial equation of her times. Whitegirl is an attempt to parse an act of violence and trace it back to its roots.

Praise & Reviews

“As a reader, I am always looking to be surprised, to be wowed, to fall in love as I did with Whitegirl.”
—Sara Nelson, in “Endless Love” a chapter of her book, So Many Books, So Little Time (Putnam, 2003).

“A gripping love story about fame, beauty and race in treacherous combination, told in an unsentimental and wholly original voice. A brilliant novel.”
–-Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Carry Me Home

“One of the many virtues of this remarkable novel is its effort to unravel the complicated relationship that many Americans have with female beauty.”
–-Carolyn See, The Washington Post

“Admirably non-exploitative in affect…packs real depth on many issues black and white.”
–-Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Kate Manning writes with a raw sense of experience that makes you walk in her character’s shoes with each carefully crafted step. A stunning debut.”
–Trisha R. Thomas, author of Roadrunner and Nappily Ever After

“[A] compelling debut…an engagingly provocative page-turner.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Charlotte’s voice—with wit, with honesty, and a kind heart—tells a compelling story of a woman’s evaporating innocence and search for clarity. WHITEGIRL is a literary and emotional tour de force that also manages to address a real issue: race in America.”
–-Amy Wilentz, author, Martyrs’ Crossing, The Rainy Season, and Farewell, Fred Voodoo

“Manning delicately handle[s] the intimacies of an interracial relationship.”
–-Entertainment Weekly

“Manning poses tantalizing questions about race, identity and beauty, and holds our attention to the end.”
–-The Arizona Republic

“How marriage can become a casualty of fame and celebrity, to say nothing of racial tensions, is an explosive and timely topic, and Manning makes a riveting story out of it.”
–-Toronto Sun