The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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But as the demonstration becomes all-consuming, sending Naomi’s life spiralling into chaos, the author also tends to lose control of plot and prose. Nevertheless, the topical, often inflammatory ideas explored remain engaging.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of You Should Have Known and Admission, a twisty new novel about a college president, a baffling student protest, and some of the most hot-button issues on today's college campuses.

Naomi Roth is the first female president of Webster College, a once conservative school now known for producing fired-up, progressive graduates. So Naomi isn't surprised or unduly alarmed when Webster students begin the fall semester with an outdoor encampment around "The Stump"-a traditional campus gathering place for generations of student activists-to protest a popular professor's denial of tenure. A former student radical herself, Naomi admires the protestors' passion, especially when her own daughter, Hannah, joins their ranks.

Then Omar Khayal, a charismatic Palestinian student with a devastating personal history, emerges as the group's leader, and the demonstration begins to consume Naomi's life, destabilizing Webster College from the inside out. As the crisis slips beyond her control, Naomi must take increasingly desperate measures to protect her friends, colleagues, and family from an unknowable adversary.

Touching on some of the most topical and controversial concerns at the heart of our society, this riveting novel examines the fragility that lies behind who we think we are-and what we think we believe.
 

About Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Jean Hanff Korelitz was born and raised in New York and graduated from Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. She is the author of one book of poems, THE PROPERTIES OF BREATH, and three previous novels, A JURY OF HER PEERS, THE SABBATHDAY RIVER and THE WHITE ROSE, as well as a novel for children, INTERFERENCE POWDER. She has also published essays in the anthologies MODERN LOVE and BECAUSE I SAID SO, and in the magazines VOGUE, REAL SIMPLE, MORE, NEWSWEEK, ORGANIC STYLE, TRAVEL AND LEISURE (FAMILY) and others. She lives in Princeton, NJ with her husband (Irish poet Paul Muldoon, poetry editor at The New Yorker and Princeton poetry professor) and two children.
 
Published March 21, 2017 by Grand Central Publishing. 369 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Devil and Webster
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Saadia Faruqi on Mar 29 2017

Besides the obviously unique angle with it’s been written, there is more to like and enjoy in The Devil and Webster. Korelitz has an engaging writing style, informal with lots of parenthesis and asides.

Read Full Review of The Devil and Webster | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Anita Sethi on Apr 16 2017

But as the demonstration becomes all-consuming, sending Naomi’s life spiralling into chaos, the author also tends to lose control of plot and prose. Nevertheless, the topical, often inflammatory ideas explored remain engaging.

Read Full Review of The Devil and Webster | See more reviews from Guardian

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85%

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