'To the extent that we can speak of a future at present, I think the future of the novel is here' Sally Rooney
'An education in the sympathetic imagination, a deep and bracing intellectual challenge, a powerful political statement. . . This is a novel to cherish.' The Observer Guide to the Best Autumn Culture
'Ben Lerner is arguably the hottest novelist writing in America today, in complete control of his ideas and his prose, and ambitious with both.' The Telegraph Autumn Hot 100
Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of '97. His parents are psychologists, his mom a famous author in the field. 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.
Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is a riveting story about the challenges of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a startling prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the tyranny of trolls and the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.