New Reads Book Club: The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
The New Reads Book Club focuses on contemporary literature and is hosted by Drawn and Quarterly staff members. The book club meetings take place every 4-6 weeks, and are open to all.
For our JANUARY meeting, we will meet at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (176 Bernard O.) at 7 pm to discuss THE TOPEKA SCHOOL, by Ben Lerner. The evening will be hosted by Librairie Drawn & Quarterly’s own Saelan Twerdy.
Join us for discussion and drinks!
**We offer a 20% discount on THE TOPEKA SCHOOL by Ben Lerner from now until the meeting date.**
By purchasing your book at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly you help support free events like this one, independent publishing and retailing, our neighborhood, and authors both local and from around the world who depend on independent bookstores for their livelihood. You also get to take advantage of a great discount! Your support is appreciated.
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.