October 8, 2019

Penis Envy and Other Problems

by The Cut on Tuesdays

Ben Lerner is not known for freestyling. He's known for writing novels (also poems). But as a kid growing up in Topeka, Ben was deep in a world of male anger—anger that found outlets in debate championships, drunken fistfights, and, yes, also white-guy rap battles. And while Ben was growing up, his mom, Harriet Lerner, was navigating a world of anger, too. In this episode, Ben and Harriet talk about how their family's life shaped Ben's new novel, The Topeka School.