The Fall of Rome

The Fall of Rome

A Novel

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
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Latin instructor Jerome Washington is a man out of place. The lone African-American teacher at the Chelsea School, an elite all-boys boarding school in Connecticut, he has spent nearly two decades trying not to appear too "racial." So he is unnerved when Rashid Bryson, a promising black inner-city student who is new to the school, seeks Washington as a potential ally against Chelsea's citadel of white privilege. Preferring not to align himself with Bryson, Washington rejects the boy's friendship. Surprised and dismayed by Washington's response, Bryson turns instead to Jana Hansen, a middle-aged white divorc#65533;e who is also new to the school -- and who has her own reasons for becoming involved in the lives of both Bryson and Washington.
Southgate makes her debut as a writer to watch in this compelling, provocative tale of how race and class ensnare Hansen, Washington, and Bryson as they journey toward an inevitable and ultimately tragic confrontation.
Publisher: New York : Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003.
Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction ed.
ISBN: 9780743227216
0743227212
Branch Call Number: Fic
813.54
Characteristics: 219 p. ; 21 cm.

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 30, 2014

In this compelling novel of race, class and integrity, three characters confront the inevitable tensions that arise from living at the margins of the elite. As they get to know each other, the lone African-American classics teacher at the exclusive Chelsea School, the White middle-class divorced woman teacher and new student African-American Rashid begin their journey towards an inevitable and tragic confrontation that changes their lives forever.

voisjoe1 Apr 23, 2014

This novel explores token minority enrollment and token minority teacher hiring in a basically white boys prep school in a Northeastern state. Written during America’s diversity efforts, it is now especially relevant in the fact that the conservative US Supreme Court has suggested that there is no longer any need to alleviate 400 years of racist exploitation of the non-white population in education. Diversity is seen as viewed by the only Black faculty member, by one of the token Black students and by one of the few female instructors.

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