Synopses & Reviews
In an elite college in a once-decaying New England city, Steven Brookman has come to a decision. A brilliant but careless professor, he has determined that for the sake of his marriage, and his soul, he must end his relationship with Maud Stack, his electrifying student, whose papers are always late yet always incandescent. But Maud is a young woman whose passions are not easily curtailed, and their union will quickly yield tragic and far-reaching consequences.
As in Robert Stone's most acclaimed novels, here he conjures a complex moral universe where nothing is black and white, even if the characters — always complicated, always compelling — wish it were. Death of the Black-Haired Girl is an irresistible tale of infidelity, accountability, the allure of youth, the promise of absolution, and the notion that madness is everywhere, in plain sight.
"In Stone's latest bulletin from the dark side of the human condition, brilliant college student Maud Stack is having an affair with her English advisor, Steve Brookman, whose wife, Ellie, is expecting their second child. When Steve tries to distance himself from Maud, it leads to tragedy. The book is not so much a whodunit as an expressionistic collage of how others in this New England college town deal with the tragic event. They include college counselor Jo Carr, a former nun in South America who is haunted by clashes between people stuck in a 'struggle toward mutual extermination'; Maud's widower father, Eddie, a Queens detective; Lou Salmone, the local cop who has to make sense of the senseless; and Shell Magoffin, Maud's roommate, who is being stalked by her ex. A 'thuggish' academic, Steve may not be the most believable character, and Ellie's response to his infidelity might not be the most credible. But Stone (Damascus Gate) imbues his characters with a rare depth that makes each one worthy of his or her own novel. With its atmosphere of dread starting on page one, this story will haunt readers for some time. Agent: Neil Olson, Donadio & Olson." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The death of a star student at an upper-crust university unsettles friends, faculty and family in a piercing novel from veteran novelist Stone….A critique of tribalism of all sorts — religious, academic, police — …[Death of the Black-Haired Girl is] an unusual but poised mix of noir and town-and-gown novel, bolstered by Stone's well-honed observational skills." Kirkus (starred review)
At an esteemed American college an illicit romance leads to tragedy in Robert Stone's most compelling novel since the bestselling Damascus Gate.
About the Author
Robert Stone is the acclaimed author of seven novels and two story collections, including Dog Soldiers, winner of the National Book Award, and Bear and His Daughter, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His memoir, Prime Green, was published in 2006.