The Topeka School

Ben Lerner


A dazzling diagnosis of the state of the American nation



ISBN: 9781783785377

Published September 2020

304 pages


“The future of the novel is here”
– Sally Rooney


Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of ’97. His parents are psychologists, his mum 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.



“The best book yet by the most talented writer of his generation” – New York Times

“One of the best writers working today… Everything feels breezy and effortless despite Lerner’s unbridled intellect… I expect to be recommending this for the rest of my life” – Sunday Times

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Additional information

Weight 0.4 kg
Dimensions 20 × 13 × 5 cm