The Human Stain

The Human Stain

Book - 2000
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It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished even his most virulent accuser.

Coleman Silk has a secret, one which has been kept for fifty years from his wife, his four children, his colleagues, and his friends, including the writer Nathan Zuckerman. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled. And to understand also how Silk's astonishing private history is, in the words of The Wall Street Journal , "magnificently" interwoven with "the larger public history of modern America."
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
ISBN: 9780375726347
Branch Call Number: ROT
Characteristics: 361 pages ;,24 cm


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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 16, 2014

Roth is a terrific writer with an astute eye for illuminating society’s foibles; in this particular instance the weaknesses of a small New England College town are fair game. An aging professor, charged with racism, resigns his position, and very slowly the secret truths of his life are unveiled. Our compassion for this man, with all his human stains, mingles with astonishment at what he does to achieve his goals.

Jan 21, 2012

Read on the recommendation of SL. Later learned it was part of a "trilogy." A trilogy as defined by the author where, it appears the novelist Zuckerman is the common thread.

Sep 09, 2008

Book club.

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Jan 21, 2012

RONALD NEWTON thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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