How I Learned to Hate in Ohio

A Novel


A brilliant, hilarious, and ultimately devastating novel about the seedsof racial discord in America, by a powerful new voice in fiction


ISBN: 9781419747199 Category:

David Stuart MacLean


In late 1980s rural Ohio, bright but mostly friendless Barry Nadler begins his freshman year of high school with the goal of going unnoticed as much as possible. But his world is upended by the arrival of Gurbaksh, Gary for short, a Sikh teenager who moves to his small town and instantly befriends Barry and pulls him into a series of increasingly unlikely adventures. As their friendship deepens, Barry’s world begins to unravel, and his classmates and neighbors react to the presence of a family so different from theirs. Through darkly comic and bitingly intelligent asides and wry observations, Barry reveals how the seeds of xenophobia and racism find fertile soil in this insular community, and in an easy, graceless, unintentional slide, tragedy unfolds.
How I Learned to Hate in Ohio shines an uncomfortable light on the roots of white middleAmerican discontent and the beginnings of the current cultural war. It is at once bracingly funny, dark, and surprisingly moving, an undeniably resonant debut for our divided world.

Additional information

Weight 494 g
Dimensions 15.9 x 23.7 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 25 March 2021
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 15.9 x 23.7 cm
Weight 494 g


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David MacLean teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago. His work has appeared widely in places such as the New York Times, Ploughshares, Guernica, and on the radio program This American Life. He is the winner of the PEN Emerging Writing Award for Nonfiction, and he is the author of the awardwinning memoir The Answer to the Riddle Is Me. He grew up in central Ohio and now lives in Chicago.