[UCP Books]: Prospero's Son: Life, Books, Love, and Theater

"An affecting memoir. . . . Thoughtful and deeply felt . . . an intellectually and emotionally satisfying reading experience."–Booklist

Prospero's Son

Life, Books, Love, and Theater
Seth Lerer

Publication date: March 25, 2014 978-0-226-14233-4
International publication date: April 8 $14.00/£10.00


“A testament to Lerer’s passion for his work, this wise, literary, and allusion-dense book will strike a sympathetic chord with all involved in teaching or reading literature.”
Library Journal

“The brevity of Lerer’s short memoir . . . only increases the narrative’s power to unsettle and ultimately move us. . . . The result is arresting.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Seth Lerer’s moving memoir Prospero’s Son is rooted in the age-old problem of the fraught relationship between fathers and sons. But at the same time, it is about the power of books and theater, the excitement of stories in a young man’s life, and the transformative magic of words and performance. A flamboyantly performative father, a teacher and lifelong actor, comes to terms with his life as a gay man. A bookish boy becomes a professor of literature and an acclaimed expert on the very children’s books that set him on his path in the first place. And when that boy grows up, he learns how hard it is to be a father and just how much books can—and cannot—instruct him. Throughout these intertwined accounts of changing selves, Lerer returns again and again to stories—the ways they teach us about discovery, deliverance, forgetting, and remembering.

Seth Lerer is dean of arts and humanities at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of many books, including the National Book Critics Circle Award–winning Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History, from Aesop to Harry Potter.


Please contact Levi Stahl at (773) 702-0289 or lstahl@press.uchicago.edu for more information.


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