Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (July 3, 2013)
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.
In September 1992, 21-year-old Regina Gottlieb begins graduate school at an elite East Coast university. She is immediately intrigued by charismatic literature professor Nicholas Brodeur, whose seductive reputation precedes him. Though she is fascinated by Nicholas, it is Nicholas’ remote, mercurial wife, Martha, who inspires an overwhelming passion in Regina. After sharing a charged kiss at a dinner party, Regina pursues Martha with a dogged relentlessness and throws herself into the affair with all the exuberance of youth. Although Martha tries to conceal the relationship from Nicholas and the nanny who helps care for their son, Joachim, Regina is reckless and angry that Martha won’t plan a future with her. PEN/W. G. Sebald Award winner Choi (A Person of Interest, 2008) eventually moves the story ahead by 15 years, allowing Regina to view the consequences of her actions from a decidedly more mature perspective. With a sharp eye and piercing insights, Choi captures the heady romanticism that infuses a youthful love affair before the responsibilities and realities of adulthood set in. This is a masterful coming-of-age novel. –Kristine Huntley