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Encyclopedia > The Sleeping Father

The Sleeping Father is a novel by Matthew Sharpe first published in 2003 about an average middle-class American family struck by betrayal, separation, and illness. In particular, it is about the coming of age of the two teenage members of the family despite, or rather through, the troubles that befall them. Matthew Sharpe (born 1962) is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. ... See also: 2002 in literature, other events of 2003, 2004 in literature, list of years in literature. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family is a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups, typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and in some cases ownership (as was the case in the Roman... Betrayal, as a form of deception, is the violation of a social contract (trust, confidence) that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship between individuals, organizations, or individuals and organizations. ... Separation may refer to a several different subjects: In chemistry, separation refers to the separation process. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Teenage Fun, 1948 Adolescence is the period of psychological and social transition between childhood and adulthood (gender-specific manhood, or womanhood). ...

Wisecracking his way through life until he has eventually reached adulthood, 17 year-old Chris Schwartz has provoked comparison with Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye. See Adult. ... Holden Caulfield is the fictional teenaged protagonist in J.D. Salingers novel The Catcher in the Rye, first published in 1951. ... Cover of Salingers daughters memoir, featuring a rare photo of J.D. Jerome David Salinger (born January 1, 1919) is an American author best known for The Catcher in the Rye, a classic coming-of-age novel that has enjoyed enduring popularity since its publication in 1951. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Plot summary

The Schwartzes live their ordinary lives in the aptly named (and fictional) small town of Bellwether, Connecticut. When she thinks her two children do not need her any longer, Lila Schwartz, a sexually active woman, leaves behind her family, calls herself Lila Munroe and moves to California, where she trains, and later works, as a lawyer. Faced with the dual challenge of having to raise two teenage kids while remaining successful in his demanding job as a publicist and speech writer, Bernard Schwartz more and more relies on medication to cope with everyday life. The real trouble begins when he accidentally swallows two incompatible antidepressants and falls into a coma shortly thereafter. In politics, a bellwether (often, incorrectly, bellweather or bellwhether) is a region whose political tendencies match in microcosm what occurs in a wider area. ... Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 48th 14,371 km² 113 km 177 km 12. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 402. ... A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a public figure, especially a celebrity, or for a work such as a book or movie. ... Look up Transwiki:speechwriter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Oral medication A medication is a licenced drug taken to cure or reduce symptoms of an illness or medical condition. ... An antidepressant is a medication designed to treat or alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...

While he is unconscious Bernard Schwartz has a stroke. When he wakes up again he is seriously handicapped—his speech is slurred, his walk is unsteady and his memory is permanently impaired. Similar to a child, he has to learn the meanings of many words. Instead of going to school, Chris teaches his father as best as he can. A stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted. ...

In spite of his enforced preoccupation with his "sleeping" father, Chris Schwartz notices that his own life goes on without any major change. Still a virgin, he fantasizes about having sex with Lisa Danmeyer, Bernard's neurologist and actually has his first sexual encounter ever at his father's rehab centre with a sexy speech pathologist who performs fellatio on him. A virgin is most commonly seen as a person who has not engaged in sexual intercourse. ... Neurology is the branch of medicine that deals with the nervous system and disorders affecting it. ... Rehabilitation of sensory and cognitive function typically involves methods for retraining neural pathways or training new neural pathways to regain or improve neurocognitive functioning that has been diminished by disease or traumatic injury. ... // Speech pathology, also termed speech-language pathology and speech & language therapy (SLT, mainly in the UK) is the study of disorders that affect a persons speech, language and swallowing. ... Oral sex consists of all those sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, tongue, etc. ...

At the same time Cathy, his 16 year-old sister, is on the brink of abandoning her Jewish roots and converting to Roman Catholicism. However, she also develops a crush on Francis Dial, her brother's best friend and classmate. Chris cannot believe that his younger sister might have sex before he does, but in the end this is exactly what happens, an unwanted teenage pregnancy being the result of their union. At first the young lovers are unsure whether Cathy should have an abortion or not, but Cathy soon makes up her mind to keep the baby. Jews (Hebrew: יהודים, Yehudim) are followers of Judaism or, more generally, members of the Jewish people (also known as the Jewish nation, or the Children of Israel), an ethno-religious group descended from the ancient Israelites and converts who joined their religion. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ...

Characters in The Sleeping Father

  • Chris Schwartz – protagonist
  • Cathy Schwartz – Chris's sister
  • Bernard Schwartz – father to Chris and Cathy
  • Lila Schwartz – mother to Chris and Cathy, who leaves home and changes her name to "Munroe"
  • Lisa Danmeyer – Bernard's neurologist
  • Francis Dial – friend to Chris and Cathy

Main themes

The Sleeping Father also discusses the issues of racism (Francis Dial is African American), crime, and violence against women (at a battered wives' shelter, Cathy meets a woman whose husband is a violent criminal who robs the Schwartzes at gunpoint). It has been suggested that Racism in Mass Media be merged into this article or section. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black), is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Violence refers to acts of aggression and abuse which causes or intends to cause criminal injury or harm to persons, and (to a lesser extent) animals and property. ...

See also

Grant Allen: The Woman Who Did (published in 1895) (a New Woman has a child but refuses to get married) Christine Bell: The Perez Family (Cuban exiles in Florida) Kate Bingham: Mummys Legs (three generations of women thinking they can do without men) Lily Brett: Just Like That (Holocaust... A bildungsroman (German: novel of education or novel of formation) is a novel which traces the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character from (usually) childhood to maturity. ...

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