The Topeka School (Large Print / Library Binding)
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October 2019 Indie Next List
“It’s the late ’90s in Topeka, and high school senior Adam Gordon is partying, going to school, and preparing for a national speech and debate competition—living a life he expects to reflect back upon with irony and detachment in some urbane, imaginary future. Lerner shifts between perspectives, stealing stylistic bits from autofiction and documentary; he reinvents the way narrative can place the moments of our lives in the context of history, both global and hyper-local, exploring how history inflicts trauma onto us and how we, in turn, inflict that trauma back onto history. And he does all this while toying with language and the spaces where it breaks down as we attempt to self-define. Simply put, The Topeka School is a work of genius.”
— Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
Winter 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List
“This story of a boy growing up in middle America is a tragic interrogation of the chaos and violence of our world, a deft exploration of the ethics of the novel in times of ecosocial disaster, and a lacerating critique of the empire that makes us this way. Moving in its intelligence, generosity, and openness, this book is Lerner doing what he does best: making the familiar not only strange but also, and perhaps more importantly, historical and political.”
— Sam Wooley, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA