The Devil and Webster (book review)

A new book review from The Movie Snob.

The Devil and Webster, by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2017).  I thought I would like this recent novel more than I did.  It’s about Naomi Roth, the president of a small, exclusive, and very liberal New England college called Webster.  She’s a former 60s radical herself, so she’s fine with it when a bunch of students start camping out on the main campus lawn to protest the college’s decision to deny tenure to a popular (African-American) professor.  Unfortunately, the college denied the fellow tenure because it discovered he had committed some serious plagiarism; unfortunately for President Roth, the college’s strict confidentiality rules preclude her from telling the students anything about the tenure process or decision at all.  So the school year goes on, and the protest—led by a charismatic young Palestinian student—threatens to balloon out of control.  Making matters worse, President Roth’s own daughter is a Webster student and very much a part of the protest.  The story is entertaining enough, but I didn’t find the ending very satisfying—it somehow left me wanting more.

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