Still in Love

Michael Downing. Counterpoint, $26 (208p) ISBN 978-1-64009-147-4
Downing’s witty follow-up to Perfect Agreement satisfyingly transports readers to college as teacher Mark Sternum begins winter term at Hellman College in New England. Mark’s highly acclaimed creative writing class is filled with 12 students, yet hopefuls line the classroom to listen to the writer’s workshop. Mark jointly teaches with the Professor, a distant man whom the students fear as much as they feel at ease with Sternum. This term is challenging for Mark as he tries to fill the void left by Paul, his partner of 30 years who is currently overseas, by staying at Paul’s condo more than in his own house. The students, meanwhile, dissect each other’s work and try to sort out their lives. Mark takes an interest in Anton, a student whom he learns is battling cancer. In addition to focusing on his own writing, Mark stresses over an important departmental report, and even though he’s tenured, he likes to please and allows union meetings to be held in his office. In depicting Mark’s ordinary semester, Downing poignantly illustrates the dynamics of the college classroom as well as its potential for lasting lessons, making for a resonant campus novel. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-72135-523-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-72135-522-8
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-64009-340-9
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