'Funny and tender' Daily TelegraphAuthor of the Pulitzer Prize winning Empire Falls
At age fifty, Professor William Henry Devereaux, Jr, has more than a mid-life crisis to deal with. As a child, his parents found him merely exasperating. As an adult, and interim chair of the English Department, he is careening out of control. Half in love with three women, unable to understand his daughter or come to terms with his father, Hank has a dangerous philosophy that life, even an academic life, could be simpler, and that endless discussions and negotiation might profitably be replaced by provocation or simple extortion. He is a man in thrall to the perversity principle. Packed with memorable characters and scenes of pure genius, STRAIGHT MAN is exhilarating, hilariousand deeply moving-an unforgettable portrait of a middle aged man caught somewhere between cause and effect.