Robert Stone's new novel is a tense, penetrating mystery set at an elite college in a New England city. A brilliant but careless professor at the college, Steven Brookman has reluctantly decided that for the sake of his marriage and his soul, he must extricate himself from his relationship with Maud Stack, his dazzling student, whose papers are always late and too long, but always brilliant. Maud, however, is a young woman whose passions - personal, intellectual, social - are not easily contained or curtailed, and their union and their rift will yield tragic and long-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 Stone' s most provocative and accessible novel in years -- an irresistibly compelling tale of infidelity, accountability, the allure of youth, the promise of absolution, questions of faith, and the notion that madness and random violence are everywhere, in plain sight.
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