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Named one of the most anticipated fall books by:
The New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Vogue, Vulture, The Observer, Kirkus, Lit Hub, The Millions, The Week, Oprah Magazine, The Paris Review Daily, Nylon, Pacific Standard, Publishers Weekly, Slate, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, the New York Post, and The Guardian

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: a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the New Right

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.



About the Author

Ben Lerner

Benjamin S. Lerner is an American poet, novelist, and critic. He was awarded the Hayden Carruth prize for his cycle of fifty-two sonnets, . In 2004, named it one of the year's twelve best books of poetry. appeared in a German translation in 2010, for which it received the "Preis der Stadt Münster für internationale Poesie" in 2011, making Lerner the first American to receive this honor. Born and raised in Topeka, which figures in each of his books of poetry, Lerner is a 1997 graduate of Topeka High School where he was a standout in debate and forensics. At Brown University he earned a B.A. in Political Theory and an MFA in Poetry. He traveled on a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain in 2003 where he wrote his second book, , which was published in 2006 and was subsequently named a finalist for the National Book Award, and was selected by Brian Foley as one of the "25 important books of poetry of the 00s (2000-2009) ". Lerner's third full-length poetry collection, , was published in 2010. Lerner's first novel, , was published by Coffee House Press in August 2011. It was named one of the best books of the year by , and , among other periodicals. It won the Believer Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for "first fiction" and the New York Public Library's Young Lions prize. In 2008 Lerner began editing poetry for , a British academic publication. He has taught at California College of the Arts, the University of Pittsburgh, and in 2010 joined the faculty of the MFA program at Brooklyn College. Lerner's mother is the well-known psychologist Harriet Lerner.



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