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May 17, 2019

The Question Authority by Rachel Cline

The Question Authority is a timely and moving novel about what happens when childhood best friends face the damage done by the teacher who molested them both.

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The Question Authority
April 2019; Red Hen Press; 978-1597098984
audio, ebook, print (224 pages); domestic thriller
Meet Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich and now broke and newly employed at the NYC Education Department. She would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eighth grade teacher Beth’s lover or her rapist? What should justice look like after so much time has passed? And what, if anything, can Nora do now?

In this powerful and emotionally wrenching story, Nora and Beth’s memories, and those of their classmates, their former teacher, and members of his family are revealed. These memories shed light on the way we manage and absorb unbearable behavior and how one experience can influence a whole life.

The Question Authority tracks Nora’s trajectory from denial to reinvention, self pity to self righteousness and, finally, insight and action. As Nora begins to understand her own personal #Metoo, she faces some difficult revelations about herself and how she has chosen to live her life.


“A gripping, provocative story about bright young girls in thrall to a charismatic teacher, and his haunting impact on their adult lives. The novel adds depth and nuance to our ongoing conversation about #MeToo revelations.”  —Kate Manning, author of My Notorious Life

“Cline compels us to face the most pressing questions that #MeToo raised: how is inequality truly seen, what does justice look like, what good does questioning authority do when the authority is so skilled at dodging questions?” —Matt Caprioli, Red Hook Star-Revue

“So in touch with the present moment that it might have been written last week, so skillful that it couldn’t have been, this prescient novel deserves your attention.” —Martha Southgate, author of Third Girl from the Left

Buy The Question Authority at Amazon

About the Author

Rachel Cline is the author of the novels What to Keep and My Liar (both from Random House). She has written for the New York Times, New York, More SELF and Tin House and is a produced screen and television writer. She was a screenwriting instructor at University of Southern California and has taught fiction at New York University, Eugene Lang College and Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a resident of Yaddo, a fellow of Sewanee, and a Girls Write Now mentor. She lives in Brooklyn Heights, a few blocks from where she grew up.

Find out more about Rachel at her website.

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