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The Topeka School

(2019)
A novel by

 
 
2019 New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year

2019 NPR Best Book of the Year

2019 National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee

2019 Vogue Magazine Best Books of the Year

2019 Time Magazine Top 10 Books of the Year

2019 NYT Outstanding Books of the Year

2019 The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

2019 Washington Post Best Books of the Year

2019 Amazon.com Best Books of the Year

2019 New York Magazine Best Books of the Year

2019 Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year

2019 Esquire Magazine Best Books of the Year

2019 NYPL Book for Reading and Sharing

Named one of the most anticipated fall books by 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, 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.

Cover photograph from The Wichita Eagle. 1990 McClatchy. All rights reserved. Used under license. Kansas.com

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Ben Lerner is a brilliant novelist, and one unafraid to make of the novel something truly new... He is one of my favourite living writers." - Rachel Kushner

"Ben Lerner has redefined what it means for a writer to inhabit an American present by showing how a family reckons with its past. Here the personal and political are masterfully interwoven. The Topeka School is brave, furious, and finally a work of love." - Ocean Vuong


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Used availability for Ben Lerner's The Topeka School

Hardback Editions

March 2020 : USA Library Binding

Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 1-4328-7658-9 / 978-1-4328-7658-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


November 2019 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 1-78378-536-5 / 978-1-78378-536-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


October 2019 : Canada Hardback
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 0-7710-4932-3 / 978-0-7710-4932-3 (Canada edition)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Topeka School: A Novel
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 0-374-27778-8 / 978-0-374-27778-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Availability: Amazon   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

October 2020 : USA Paperback

Title: The Topeka School: A Novel
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 1-250-75800-9 / 978-1-250-75800-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2020 : UK Paperback

Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 1-78378-537-3 / 978-1-78378-537-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


October 2019 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Topeka School: Export Edition
Author(s): Ben Lerner
ISBN: 1-78378-572-1 / 978-1-78378-572-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

November 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


November 2019 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon AU   


November 2019 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


October 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon   


October 2019 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Topeka School: A Novel
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

October 2019 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


October 2019 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Topeka School
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2019 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Topeka School: A Novel
Author(s): Ben Lerner
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Availability: Amazon