The Headmaster's Darlings
When Laney is summoned to the principal's office one day in November 1983, he expects to be congratulated for a recent public-relations triumph he engineered on behalf of the school. Instead his letter of resignation is demanded with no explanation given. Faced with an ultimatum and his imminent dismissal, Laney must outflank the principal at his own underhanded game, find out who said what about him and why, and launch his current crop of Alabama students into the wider world—or at least into Ivy League colleges.
In her debut novel, Katherine Clark casts a comical eye on southern society and celebrates the power of great teachers and schools to transform the lives of young people and lift up their communities. Surrounded by a colorful cast of his colleagues, his young protégés and Mountain Brook's upper echelon, Laney emerges as a heroically idiosyncratic character with Falstaffian appetites, an inimitable wit and intellect, and a boundless generosity toward his students that reshapes their lives in profound, unexpected ways.
"Katherine Clark knows how to capture a world, turn a phrase, tell a story, and write a comedy of manners that peels the beautiful layers off Mountain Brook society and shows the rancor and ugliness and tragedy below. . . . [She] will write her name in the book of great Alabama writers, and she will long be remembered as the creator of Norman Laney, the greatest portrait of an American teacher I have ever read, immortalized, as I believe he richly deserves, by one of his golden girls, one of his darlings. Here's how good this book is—for the rest of my life I will also be one of Norman Laney's darlings."—Pat Conroy, from the foreword
"With a jaundiced eye reminiscent of Tom Wolfe, Katherine Clark takes aim at the 'tiny kingdom' of Mountain Brook, Alabama, in her frank and feisty debut novel, The Headmaster's Darlings. In her riveting narrative, Clark delves into the mores and foibles of a hermetically sealed southern suburb and its prep school, where an obese, quixotic college counselor Norman Laney - a combination of Ignatius Riley, Truman Capote, and a Florentine prince - wields his wit, aspiring students, and sheer size as weapons of social change in his battle against a traditional Confederate mythology."—Lanier Scott Isom, journalist and co-author of Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond
Other Titles by Katherine Clark
Other Titles from Story River Books
Other Titles in FICTION / Satire