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The Topeka School

The Topeka School

2019 . Fiction, Coming Of Age, Family Life, Literary . Ben Lerner

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The Topeka School
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About the book

A NEW YORK TIMES, TIME, GQ, Vulture, and WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK of the YEAR ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVOURITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize Winner of the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award From the award-winning author of 10:04 and Leaving the Atocha Station, a tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century, hailed by Maggie Nelson as Ben Lerner's "most discerning, ambitious, innovative, and timely novel to date." Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of '97. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author; his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting "lost boys" to open up. They both work at a psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is a renowned debater, expected to win a national championship before he heads to college. He is one of the cool kids, ready to fight or, better, freestyle about fighting if it keeps his peers from thinking of him as weak. Adam is also one of the seniors who bring the loner Darren Eberheart--who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father's patient--into the social scene, to disastrous effect. Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is the story of a family, its struggles and its strengths: Jane's reckoning with the legacy of an abusive father, Jonathan's marital transgressions, the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the New Right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

Year:

2019

Language:

English

Publisher:

McClelland & Stewart

Pages:

272

ISBN:

0771049331 (ISBN13: 9780771049330)

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