The Topeka School
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The Topeka School

Ben Lerner, Christopher Ragland, John Moraitis, Regina Reagan

Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of 1997. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author and his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting ‘lost boys’ to open up. They both work at the Foundation, a well-known psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is a renowned debater and orator, expected to win a national championship before he heads to college. He is an aspiring poet. He is - although it requires a great deal of posturing, weight lifting and creatine supplements - one of the cool kids, passing himself off as a ‘real man,’ 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 brings the loner Darren Eberheart - who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father’s patient - into the social scene, with disastrous effects. Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School is the story of a family’s struggles and strengths and the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity.

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