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Reader’s Den

Reader's Den: "The Human Stain" by Philip Roth


Welcome to the May 2010 edition of The Reader’s Den! For this month's online book discussion, we will be focusing on The Human Stain by Philip Roth. This multi-award winning book was originally published in 2000, and was adapted as a major motion picture in 2003 by Miramax Films.

The Human Stain is the story of college professor Coleman Silk. After revolutionizing a quiet New England college for most of his professional career, Coleman is forced into early retirement when a passing comment about missing students is misconstrued as racist. In his attempts to update and modernize the university he made many enemies who use this situation as an excuse to run him off campus for good. During the lengthy ensuing legal battle to defend his reputation, Coleman's wife of many years passes away. He meets Nathan Zuckerman, an author dealing with his own sense of loss after barely recovering from prostate cancer. He eventually convinces Nathan to start writing the story of his injustice; it forces Coleman to reflect on his life and remember a past he'd rather forget. Also front-and-center in Coleman's story is Faunia Farley, the woman half his age with whom he begins an intense love affair. Faunia's deeply disturbed ex-husband begins stalking the pair, leading to a climactic showdown on a snowy road in the novel's climax.

To participate in the discussion, go ahead and reserve your copy of The Human Stain today or visit your local library branch to see if there's a copy on the shelf.

The book was also turned into a movie, so you can also reserve your copy of the movie The Human Stain starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman.

Feel free to start participating in the discussion! Make comments at any time during the Reader's Den by writing one in the Post New Comment box below, clicking "Preview" and following the instructions.


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