The Red Squad

E. M. Broner, Author . Pantheon $24 (211p) ISBN 978-0-307-37791-3

Broner (A Weave of Women ) succeeds in capturing the political spirit of the 1960s and '70s in this character-driven tale of English graduate students and teachers struggling to come to grips with who they are. In the approximate present-day, academic Anka Pappas finds tossed on her front stoop a file documenting her activities as an “opinionated, rebellious, and assertive” English instructor in the 1960s, but the most shocking thing is that it appears one of her confidantes from that era was a government informer. As she sifts through her recollections and the file contents, Anka reflects on a lifetime's worth of activism, teaching and friendships. There was Mr. Berger, who provided frequent humorous fodder for Anka and her peers; O'Dwyer, who disappeared from campus life after being arrested; Bernstein, who obsessed over moving to Israel; and Kevin, the priest-turned-student object of Anka's crush. Broner captures the mannerisms, witticisms and transparent insecurities of her young idealists, and the who-was-the-rat mystery will keep readers involved through the too-tidy conclusion. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-0-307-45584-0
Open Ebook - 154 pages - 978-0-307-37824-8
Show other formats
Discover what to read next