Antrim, Taylor 1974–
Antrim, Taylor 1974–
Writer and editor. ForbesLife, editor.
Poe-Faulkner fellow, University of Virginia.
The Headmaster Ritual (novel), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.
Taylor Antrim's first novel, The Headmaster Ritual, was called "impressive for a first-year effort" by Washington Post contributor Ron Charles. The author sets the scene in an elite, private boarding school in Massachusetts. The school's headmaster is a radical who may support North Korean terrorists. As the author explores the headmaster's fanaticism, he also develops the stories of two people who will profoundly influence each other: Dyer Martin, a new history teacher running from a failed relationship and a disastrous job, and James, son of the school's headmaster. A contributor to the New Yorker noted that the author examines "the rituals of boarding-school life—the rigid hierarchies, the code of silence." Some reviewers felt that Antrim was overly ambitious, but they still had praise for the novel. For example, although New York Times Book Review contributor Darin Strauss found The Headmaster Ritual "ambitious and confounding," the reviewer went on to note: "In its best moments … The Headmaster Ritual is a good old-fashioned campus novel." Writing in Library Journal, Kevin Greczek commented: "The book's real accomplishment … is the parallel personal development of Dyer and James."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books, June 2, 2007, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of The Headmaster Ritual, p. 7.
Book World, July 15, 2007, Ron Charles, "Class Struggles," review of The Headmaster Ritual, p. 6.
Library Journal, March 1, 2007, Kevin Greczek, review of The Headmaster Ritual, p. 66.
New Yorker, August 6, 2007, review of The Headmaster Ritual, p. 71.
New York Times Book Review, August 12, 2007, Darin Strauss, review of The Headmaster Ritual.
Washington Post, July 15, 2007, Ron Charles, "Class Struggles," review of The Headmaster Ritual, p. BW06.
Houghton Mifflin,http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/ (October 14, 2007), brief profile of author.
Taylor Antrim Home Page,http://www.taylorantrim.com (October 14, 2007).