The Human Stain
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 ageing 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 ruth... show more
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 ageing 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 ruth about Silk would astonish 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 unravelled. 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'.
Publish date: April 5th 2001
Pages no: 384
Edition language: English
Series: The American Trilogy (#3)
This surprising novel from Roth is like being at the surf line. The water, though in motion, has a calm, unbroken surface. Then suddenly something snags, or accumulates, or breaks its surface tension. It foams, bubbles, gushes, gnashes. If you're standing in it, you might be knocked down, dragged un...
This is my favorite Roth novel.
The only Roth I'd ever read was Portnoy, back when it came out (practically), and the Plot Against America - which didn't impress me at all. So I came to this book, which I listened to on audible, with a prejudice against Roth. I didn't like him, thought he was a fake, he didn't "look" like much of ...
Coleman Silk is a light-skinned African American who has been pretending he was white since his 20's. He becomes a professor at a small liberal arts college and moves his way up to the position of Dean of the school. But, he casually makes a comment about absent students being 'spooks' because he h...
Roth is so thorough! He delves deeply into characters other authors might pull in to play their part and then quickly dismiss, but he explores them only insofar as they contribute to the answers to the questions. Deep background and psyche.The Human Stain's questions are all about identity: the limi...