oleman Silk is a worldly and admired professor who loses his job after unwittingly making a racial slur. To clear his name, Silk writes a book about the events with his friend and colleague Nathan Zuckerman, who in the process discovers a dark secret Silk has hidden his whole life. All the while, Silk engages in an affair with Faunia Farley, a younger woman whose tormented past threatens to unravel the layers of deception Silk has constructed.

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