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  • Event
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

GrubStreet Book Club: Interrogating Autofiction with "The Topeka School" by Ben Lerner

No Longer Enrolling

  • $10.00 Non-Member
  • $10.00 Member

Event Description

Are you a writer curious about learning new approaches to craft through published work, or a book lover interested in better understanding the mechanics of narrative and structure? Are you just looking for your next great read? Join us for the latest installment of our brand-new GrubStreet Book Club!

Instructor Sara Rauch will lead participants through a craft-focused discussion of Ben Lerner's acclaimed novel The Topeka School, a "riveting prehistory of the present."

In this discussion, we'll talk through Lerner's take on autofiction, and how he uses point-of-view to build the world of the novel. Unlike many works of autofiction, The Topeka School has three unique main characters, who take turns telling the story. How does Lerner pull off this particular and unusual stylistic choice? How does he create immediacy via his characterizations and his careful worldbuilding? What might we learn from this reading about how to create a social novel from personal experience?

About GrubStreet Book Club

Take your love of reading to the next level and read like a writer in GrubStreet's monthly Book Club: a series curated and led by a rotating cast of GrubStreet instructors, featuring thought-provoking deep dives into fiction and nonfiction books through the lens of craft. Whether you're a writer looking for inspiration or simply a lover of literature, our Book Club will deepen your understanding of stories in a community of engaged readers.

Book Club participants can purchase this month's title online from our bookselling partners at Porter Square Books for a 20% discount! (Please note that this discount does not stack with the 10% discount benefit on Porter Square Books purchases for GrubStreet members.) Be sure to enter the coupon code 'GRUBBIECLUB' at checkout.

Program Format

This event will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your event is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the meeting!


This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!