From Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos comes an unforgettable journey about identity, choices, and the way in which we all struggle to accept our true selves. In gritty, clear prose, Dark Dude captures New York City in the 1960s—violent, decaying, slouching away from the American dream—and brings to life a character who has no choice but to head out west in search of something better. Rico didn’t say good-bye. He didn’t leave a phone number. And he didn’t plan on coming back—ever. In the Midwest, Rico could blend in, his light hair and lighter skin disguising his background. He would no longer be the “dark dude,” the punching bag for the whole neighborhood. Trading Harlem for Wisconsin, though, means giving up on a big part of his identity. And when Rico no longer has to prove that he’s Latino, he almost stops being one. Except that he can never have an ordinary white kid’s life, because there are some things that can’t be left behind, things that will follow you a thousand miles away. When Rico discovers that picket-fenced apple-pie people can be just as violent and judgmental as the neighbors he left behind, he is forced to swallow an uncomfortable truth: no longer an outsider by his appearance, Rico is still an outsider. Winner of the 2009 ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Selected for the Winter 2009 Kids' Indie Next List: Teens. Winner of the 2009 International Latino Book Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. A 2009 New York Public Library Book for Teens. A 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adults.