Novel Synopsis

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Why has each member of the prominent, vilified Mann family set off on a path of self-destruction? What commands Ernst, the 89-year-old patriarch and former Nazi psychiatrist, as he shares damaging information about his past and deceased wife, Hildegard, with a lonely, unsteady exterminator who has come to rid his mansion of rats and roaches? What drives Victor, his son, the clinical psychologist made infamous for his experiments seeking to legitimize Caucasian superiority, as he designs a new research project requiring the impregnation of four women, one from every non-white race? What possesses his wife, Katherine, a depressive socialite, to begin a love affair with her 17-year-old nephew, Daniel? And what has turned Victor and Katherine’s 15-year-old son, Zachary, into a boorish cretin who embarks on a dangerous mission to seduce and provoke “ethnic” men into ritualistically assaulting him? At the heart of the family’s inexplicable, deranged behavior are Zachary’s Indian boyhood friend (and lover), Anand, who ceremoniously abuses his much older white partner, the family’s Trinidadian butler, Augustine, whose intransigent silence is matched by his implacable spite, and a strange, secret philosophy that has ruled the Mann line for generations. “The Unmentionable Mann” endeavors to make sense of the pain that people choose, the demons we embrace, and the mercies we only sometimes grant ourselves and others.