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The Human Stain by Philip Roth

It is 1998, the year America is plunged into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town a distinguished classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues allege that he is a racist. The charge is unfounded, the persecution needless, but the truth about Silk would astonish 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 comes upon Silk’s secret, and sets out to unearth his former buried life, piecing the biographical fragments back together. This is against backdrop of seismic shifts in American history, which take on real, human urgency as Zuckerman discovers more and more about Silk’s past and his futile search for renewal and regeneration.

 

Proposed by Mike

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Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles

two-serious-ladiesFew great writers produced less than Jane Bowles: one novel, one play and a dozen short stories. Yet hers is one of the most original, unique voices in twentieth century American literature. A novelist with an essentially tragic view, as Truman Capote concludes in his memoir, but also ‘a very funny writer … with at [her] heart the subtlest comprehension of eccentricity and human apartness.’

Here, then, is a novel unlike any other. A tale of two extraordinary heroines – Christina Goering, a wealthy spinster in pursuit of sainthood, and Frieda Copperfield, who finds a home from home in a Panama brothel. And a book whose lesbian themes were startling on its original publication in 1943.

Proposed by Mary

Welcome to Literature in Pubs

Literature in Pubs (LIPs) is a community book group searching for literary stimulation in the relaxing atmosphere of a good pub. Currently the meetings are held at The Vernon Pub on Dale Street in Liverpool city centre, on the 3rd Monday of every month at 6:30pm-8pm.

The aim is to provide an informal setting for people to come and discuss their ideas in relation to a piece of literature once a month. No literary background is required, just a passion for discussion.

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