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 extract himself from his relationship with Maud Stack, his electrifying student, whose papers are always late and too long yet always incandescent. But Maud is a young woman whose passions are not easily contained or 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. The stakes of Brookman and Maud's relationship prove higher than either one could have anticipated, pitting individuals against one another and against the institutions meant to protect them.Death of the Black-Haired Girl is a powerful tale of infidelity, accountability, the allure of youth, the promise of absolution, and the notion that madness is everywhere, in plain sight.
"Robert Stone is a vastly intelligent and entertaining writer, a divinely troubled holy terror ever in pursuit of an absconded God and His purported love. Stone's superb work, with its gallery of remarkable characters, is further enhanced here by his repellently smug professor, Steve Brookman, and the black-haired girl's hopelessly grieving father, Eddie Stack." (Joy Williams)
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Someone so starved for stories he wouldn't mind the cliche-ridden narrative and utterly unsympathetic characters.
Stone has written some superb books. If only he had created characters as convincing as those in his other novels.
The tone he assumed when reading the lines of the female characters was annoying and further undermined the credibility of those characters, which was weak enough.
- MRS DS Clark