topeka school trilogy
To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com or call 020-3176 3837. The novel was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. More often we fed them.”. To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com or call 020-3176 3837. According to literary review aggregator Book Marks, the novel received mostly positive reviews. The book is considered both a bildungsroman and a work of autofiction, as the narrative incorporates many details from Lerner's own life. In the book, the parents, Jane and Jonathan, are revealed as well intentioned but desperately unhappy. His parents are psychologists, his mom a famous author in the field. That titular school has other meanings, though. The books were absurdly smart, occasionally infuriating and often hilarious. Free UK p&p over £15, online orders only. ―Evan Kindley, The Nation “Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School is the best novel of the Donald Trump era thus far. eading a new book from a writer you admire is never a straightforward thing, particularly when the advance buzz, while positive, suggests a change of direction, a new maturity and seriousness. Thanh)" music video. Rather, it investigates the weird and twisty relationships between Trump’s political context and the state of American language. Free UK p&p over £15, online orders only. To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com or call 020-3176 3837. A renowned debater and orator, an aspiring poet, and - although it requires a lot of posturing and weight lifting - one of the cool kids, he's also one of the seniors who brings the loner Darren Eberheart into the social scene, with disastrous effects. The Topeka School is a sort of prequel to these two novels. This work of fiction revolves around a talented student who is his high school debate champion with psychologist parents, yet he was a misfit among his peers. But this is a great novel, one summoned by the desperate times in which it was written. While 10:04 dispensed with fictionalised titles and called its narrator Ben, the three books can be considered a trilogy, in that the basic facts of the life being presented are clearly those of Lerner himself – growing up in Topeka, Kansas, moving to Brooklyn via an interlude in Spain, writing poetry and then novels, and becoming the father of two girls. Or in Jonathan’s words: “We thought that if we had a language for our feelings we might transcend them. Lerner’s real mother, Harriet, is a renowned psychologist who is attached to the Menninger Foundation. . From the beginning of what is now being referred to as a trilogy (Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04, The Topeka Schoo l), the narrators, Ben/ Adam, have followed the rules of the game. • The Topeka School by Ben Lerner is published by Granta (£16.99).  Critics Rumaan Alam and Christine Smallwood have referred to the book as an example of autofiction.. The Topeka School by Ben Lerner is the third part of his trilogy featuring a central character who bears a decided resemblance to Lerner himself. During a protest against the caging of immigrant children at the end of the novel, Adam Gordon admits that he didn’t know “what the agents of the state were capable of, now that America was great again”. “America,” he says, “is adolescence without end…” The act of teenage violence that foreshadows each of the book’s chapters becomes a complex but convincing metaphor for the way America’s heartlands have responded to being left behind by the onward march of progress and globalisation. Ben Lerner: ‘makes a powerful link between the violence of young white men and the state of politics’. The final chapter takes place in 2019 and follows Adam, now a father of two young girls, as he and his wife take their family to Topeka from their home in New York City to protest the Trump administration's family separation policy. The protagonist of Lerner’s third novel, The Topeka School, is called Adam Gordon – the same name as the narrator of Leaving the Atocha Station.  The novel was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. With The Topeka School Ben Lerner comes full circle Viewing his latest novel as both the prequel to and the conclusion of a trilogy helped the celebrated author find a way to write it. This is a state-of-the-nation novel, a book that seeks to determine how we reached the age of “grab them by the pussy”, of Steve Bannon and toxic masculinity. , Trump administration's family separation policy, "Ben Lerner on Adolescence and His Forthcoming Novel", "Moser, Whitehead, McDaniel, Grandin, Boyer, Brown Win 2020 Pulitzers", "Staff Picks: Peonies, Poetry, and Passing Things", "Ben Lerner's 'The Topeka School' Revisits the Debates of the '90s", "Announcing the finalists for the 2019 NBCC Awards – National Book Critics Circle", https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Topeka_School&oldid=985974281, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 October 2020, at 01:52.  Critics have also noted the themes of toxic masculinity (especially in the Darren subplot) and the breakdown of language as a medium of communication, epitomized by the debating technique of "the spread," wherein a debater tries to overwhelm their opponent with as many arguments as possible regardless of their merit. The Topeka School is a 2019 novel by the American novelist and poet Ben Lerner about a high school debate champion from Topeka, Kansas in the 1990s. It is set in the late 1990s, at the end of history (which turned out to be more of a pause) in Topeka, Kansas, where Lerner himself grew up. The Topeka School is a hard book to classify or define. The Topeka School is the sound of “a public learning slowly how to speak again, in the middle of the spread”. Lerner has indeed grown up and he has created a work of extraordinary intelligence and subtlety, of lasting importance. Reading a new book from a writer you admire is never a straightforward thing, particularly when the advance buzz, while positive, suggests a change of direction, a new maturity and seriousness.  One of the primary conflicts of the novel is between the prevailing political centrism and "end of history" rhetoric of the time, accepted largely unthinkingly by Adam and his cosmopolitan parents, and an undercurrent of right-wing anger voiced in its most extreme form by the protests of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church. , As in Lerner's previous novels, the narrative contains autobiographical elements. THE TOPEKA SCHOOL By Ben Lerner [ This was selected as one of the Book Review’s 10 best books of 2019.See the full list. School Trilogy is the first era of BTS' career. Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04 find their synthesis in The Topeka School, the third in his Hegelian trilogy. • The Topeka School by Ben Lerner is published by Granta (£16.99). Adam’s parents are members and each narrates two of the book’s eight chapters. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99, The knowing US novelist displays a new maturity in this state-of-the-nation novel about violence and public discourse, 'It made me really crazy': Ben Lerner on confronting male rage and family trauma. Ben Lerner’s first two novels, Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04, were funny, cynical, metafictive delights, taking the raw material of Lerner’s life – a Kansas boy making it big in the world of avant-garde poetry – and playing modish games with the knowing, waspish first-person narrative, constantly destabilising the reading experience.