Comic, poignant, richly imagined, effortlessly blending past and present, Allan Stein is a highly charged exploration of eroticism and identity.
After a sex scandal involving one of his students, an American high school teacher flees to Paris, only to find himself falling in love with the skateboarding son of the French family that has taken him in. To complicate matters, he is in France under an assumed name: that of his best friend, museum curator Herbert Widener. The real Herbert has bestowed upon his friend not only an identity but a mission: to track down Picasso’ s long-lost drawings of Gertrude Stein’s young nephew Allan.
As his search draws “Herbert” deep into the city’s art world – and into his own charade – the sad, gilded boyhood of Allan Stein comes to resonate with the narrator’s present infatuation in haunting, unexpected ways.