Novelist Tom Perrotta

Sometimes a novel’s plot is unlikely. Sometimes it’s ripped straight from life — or life we can easily imagine. Novelist Tom Perrotta’s latest book, “The Abstinence Teacher,” is the second type.

Ruth is a broad-minded sex-ed teacher at the local high school — in a suburb where evangelical Christians are taking charge of the local culture. She makes a casual remark about the joy of sex, and the roof comes off.

Sex-ed becomes abstinence ed. A “virginity consultant” is sent in. And all-American cultural mayhem ensues. This is our life and times.

Up next, On Point: Tom Perrotta and “The Abstinence Teacher.”


Tom Perrotta, novelist and screenwriter, his new novel is “The Abstinence Teacher.”

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