A cutting satire concerning the death spiral of the white, male identity.
With his divorce nearly finalized, the surprise success of his freshman book on the wane, and his ill-advised affair with grad student Lara Kitts put to bed, Dr. Barker Samuel Stone is on the precipice of a cozy tenure-track existence. All in all, none too shabby for a straight, aware, upper-middle-class white dude, amirite?
Then an enigmatic e-mail sends Barker’s life spiralling along an unanticipated trajectory. Summoned to a late-night confab at the campaign office of controversial mayoral candidate Baz Randell – folk hero to some, populist blowhard to everyone else – Barker is looped in on an epic, career-ending scandal.
In the midst of mounting chaos, Barker is informed that an anonymous complainant has levied a claim of sexual misconduct against him. Given the university’s embarrassing record of botching cases of misconduct, Barker is advised that the administration is looking to bring the hammer down on someone – anyone – hard.
In his whole life, Barker has never before felt so much like a nail.
“Topical, hilarious, controversial, Privilege is an unheralded gem” — Winnipeg Free Press
“Seasoned playwright, Jason Patrick Rothery turns his keen eye on the white guy in this debut novel: Privilege. Rothery shines his hilarious flashlight on the exclusive mechanisms of a university professor, Dr. Barker Stone, engaged in dubious behaviour. The result: witty, hysterical, pathetic, prophetic – everything I want and need in this oh-so-apt, current day novel. Rothery is spot on.” — Lee Kvern, author of 7 Ways To Sunday
“This book is a provocation, a report from the culture wars that will offend us all. And the fictional man at this story’s heart has a Shakespearean flaw familiar to every one of us: he wants more. More sex, more money, more success, more exquisite food and drink, more love, more comfort and adventure. The story of his downfall made me uncomfortable, made me laugh, made me contemplate my own privilege and the concept of privilege as both a simplistic label and a necessary correction to historical injustice. Is this a satire of male myopia, a dispatch from an intergenerational battle, a critique of campus activists, a Lolita for our times? All of the above? There are no easy answers here, but a narrative voice that is intelligent, contemporary, funny, occasionally infuriating, always complex. What I do know for sure: Jason Rothery can write.” — Deborah Willis, The Dark and Other Love Stories
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