"Until the day of Merriwether's departure from the house--a month after his divorce--the Merriwether family looked like an ideally tranquil one" we read on the first page of Other Men's Daughters. It is the late 1960s, and the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts, are full of long-haired hippies decked out in colorful garb, but Dr. Robert Merriwether, who teaches at Harvard and has been married for a good long time, hardly takes note. Learned, curious, thoughtful, and a creature of habit, Merriwether is anything but an impulsive man, and yet over the summer, while Sarah, his wife, is away on vacation, he meets a summer student, Cynthia Ryder, and before long the two have fallen into bed and in love. Richard Stern's novel is an elegant and unnerving examination of just how cold and destructive a thing love, "the origin of so much story and disorder," can be.
The devastating story of a relationship between a professor and a student, brought to NYRB Classics by Philip Roth, who will provide an introduction for our edition.
Richard Stern (1928-2013) was the author of more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including short stories, essays, and novels. Stern taught literature and creative writing at the University of Chicago from 1955 until retiring in 2001. Philip Roth is the author of thirty-one books, including the Pulitzer Prize winner American Pastoral.