The Human Stain

The Human Stain

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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."

Author: Philip Roth
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 05/08/2001
Pages: 384
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.63lbs
Size: 8.06h x 5.24w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780375726347

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 7.4
Point Value: 24
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 49650 / Human Stain


Review Citation(s):
BookPage 05/01/2001 pg. 23
New York Times 05/06/2001 pg. 36
Entertainment Weekly 12/05/2003 pg. 104
Booksense '76 Reading Grp 04 05/01/2004 pg. 1
Newsweek 10/01/2007 pg. 81
New York Times Book Review 03/16/2014 pg. 15

About the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004." Roth received PEN's two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize. He died in 2018.