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My Educationby Susan Choi
Synopses & Reviews
An intimately charged novel of desire and disaster from the author of American Woman and A Person of Interest
Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty — or his charismatic, volatile wife.
My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end — if they do — fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.
"My Education is a raw, wild, hurtling foray into the tangled realms of sexuality and self-knowledge. Susan Choi's vast gifts as a novelist are all on display, with her restlessness, curiosity and sheer daring leading the way." Jennifer Egan
“When I finished Susan Choi's My Education, I nearly gasped. She had managed one of the most exquisite of the novelists magic acts — produced a cogent, passionate, and surprising story, while acknowledging the ordinary, eroding aspects of lives lived daily. She had populated it with remarkable but utterly believable characters. She had written lines that could be framed, and displayed at a sentence festival. She has, in short, written an amazing book.” Michael Cunningham
"The throes of an obsessive relationship allow a young graduate student to avoid growing up for a little while in Choi's dark and stormy fourth novel (following A Person of Interest). Regina Gottlieb, anxious about being a new student in a prestigious graduate English program, finds a welcome distraction in Nicholas Brodeur, her seminar professor. His offer of a TA position calms her fears of inadequacy, and even Regina's roommate, Daniel Dutra, a med student and born eccentric, approve of the connection. Despite Nicholas's good looks and the rumors about his raffish ways on campus, Regina is able to keep a personal distance from him. It's different, however, when she meets his wife, Martha, during a party at the Brodeurs' house. The two women soon embark on a torrid, all-consuming affair, with Regina measuring her days in a toxic swirl of hours in Martha's bed and at a local bar. Even as Regina loses her way, though, the narrative never lacks direction. Choi keeps the moments between her characters believable while building momentum toward the illicit lovers' inevitable falling-out. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)" Publishers Weekly
"As with her previous novels, Choi's talent resides in her densely layered prose and her slowing down the pace to draw readers into the inner worlds of her characters. The result is a deeply human tale of intentional mistakes, love and lust, and the search for a clearer vision of one's self." Library Journal
About the Author
Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her third, A Person of Interest, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, in 2010 she received the PEN/W. G.Sebald Award. She teaches at Princeton and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and sons.
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