Winer, Andrew 1966-
WINER, Andrew 1966-
PERSONAL: Born 1966; married Charmaine Craig. Education: University of California-Los Angeles, B.A. (fine arts); Cal Arts, M.F.A. (painting); University of California-Irvine, M.F.A. (fiction); studied at Skowhegan Art School.
CAREER: Novelist. University of California, Riverside, assistant professor.
The Color Midnight Made, Washington Square Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Also author of screenplays.
SIDELIGHTS: Andrew Winer's first novel, The Color Midnight Made, impressed critics with its sensitive treatment of race and class. The novel tells the story of ten-year-old Conrad Clay, a "whiteboy" whose family struggles with alcoholism and poverty. As his parents face loss of employment and eviction from their home, Conrad undergoes an eye examination at school and learns that he is color-blind—a fact that profoundly shames him. He finds consolation on the streets, skateboarding with his black friends and relying especially on his best friend, Loop. As Conrad's family falls to pieces around him, he must learn how to survive.
Critics admired the novel's fresh and honest approach to the coming-of-age genre. "Conrad's voice, sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking, lifts the novel above so many other adolescent sagas," wrote Susan Straight in the Washington Post Book World. In the Pomona College News Janet Fitch was quoted as saying that Winer's "ear for dialogue is pitch-perfect. Every sentence is a surprise and a delight." Mark Rozzo in the Los Angeles Times Book Review suggested that the novel "often veers into sentimentality," yet he also acknowledged that The Color Midnight Made "opens our eyes to a fascinating pre-adolescent realm." A Publishers Weekly contributor concluded that "Winer's take on boyhood … always rings true" and that his "damaged lyricism … is deeply affecting."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2002, David Hellman, review of The Color Midnight Made, p. 1577.
Bookpage, July, 2002, Mark Tarallo, review of The Color Midnight Made, p. 12.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2002 review of The Color Midnight Made, p. 701.
Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2002, Mark Rozzo, review of The Color Midnight Made, p. R14.
Publishers Weekly, June 10, 2002, review of The Color Midnight Made, p. 40.
Washington Post Book World, August 4, 2002, Susan Straight, review of The Color Midnight Made, p. 6.
Andrew Winer Home Page,http://www.andrewwiner.com (April 9, 2003).
Pomona College News Online,http://www.collegenews.org/ (April 9, 2003), review of The Color Midnight Made.