Suburban Paradise Lost

The Abstinence Teacher
Tom Perrotta
St. Martin’s Press, $24.95, 368 pp.

Tom Perrotta likes to write about trouble in paradise, the snake in the grass which will expel you from Eden if you let it. The paradise of his new novel, The Abstinence Teacher, like that of his last, Little Children, is American suburbia, geographically placeless but instantly recognizable and lovingly characterized. Those who live there are wealthy, tolerant of others sufficiently like themselves to make tolerance easy, and bonded by...

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About the Author

Paul J. Griffiths holds the Warren Chair of Catholic Theology at Duke University.