You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
A Novel

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Maksik’s spare and unpretentious prose lends a subtle simplicity to this challenging tale about the relationship between teachers and pupils, the unravelling of moral certainties and the advent of adulthood.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Set in Paris, at an international high school catering to the sons and daughters of wealthy families, You Deserve Nothing is a gripping story of power, idealism, and morality.

William Silver is a talented and charismatic young teacher whose unconventional methods raise eyebrows among his colleagues and superiors. His students, however, are devoted to him. His teaching of Camus, Faulkner, Sartre, Keats and other kindred souls breathe life into their sense of social justice and their capacities for philosophical and ethical thought. But unbeknownst to his adoring pupils, Silver proves incapable of living up to the ideals he encourages in others. Emotionally scarred by failures in his personal life and driven to distraction by the City of Light's overpowering carnality and beauty, Silver succumbs to a temptation that will change the course of his life. His fall will render him a criminal in the eyes of some, and all too human in the eyes of others.

In Maksik's stylish prose, Paris is sensual, dazzling and dangerously seductive. It serves as a fitting backdrop for a dramatic tale about the tension between desire and action, and about the complex relationship that exists between our public and private selves.
 

About Alexander Maksik

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Alexander Maksik is the author of the novel You Deserve Nothing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His writing has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Tin House, Harvard Review, The New York Times Magazine, Salon, and Narrative Magazine, among other publications, and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in New York City.














Author Residence: New York, NY
 
Published August 30, 2011 by Europa Editions. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for You Deserve Nothing
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by STACEY MADDEN on Jan 25 2012

Maksik chose to write in the voices of all three characters...which provides the novel with a richly layered sense of diversity and narrative ambiguity...

Read Full Review of You Deserve Nothing: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Pam Norfolk on Feb 10 2012

Maksik’s spare and unpretentious prose lends a subtle simplicity to this challenging tale about the relationship between teachers and pupils, the unravelling of moral certainties and the advent of adulthood.

Read Full Review of You Deserve Nothing: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

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67%

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