The Abstinence Teacher

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The Abstinence Teacher
First edition cover
Author Tom Perrotta
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fiction
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Publication date
October 16, 2007
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 358 pp (1st edition, hardcover)
ISBN 0-312-35833-4 (1st edition, hardcover)
OCLC 138340958
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3566.E6948 A66 2007b

The Abstinence Teacher is a 2007 novel by American author Tom Perrotta. It tells the story of Ruth Ramsey, a divorced sexual education teacher who lives in suburban New Jersey and comes into conflict with the town's conservative population. According to Perrotta, it is "all about sex education and the culture wars."[1] He was inspired to write the novel after reading of the influence of evangelical voters on the 2004 presidential election, stating, "I did feel somewhat inadequate as a novelist, just like I'd missed something huge happening in this country. I really did set out to kind of investigate that world." The novel also touches on other issues such as homophobia and sexism in the suburban setting. [2]

Film adaptation[edit]

Warner Independent Pictures purchased the film rights to the novel in September 2006,[3] more than a year before it was published. As of October 2007, Perrotta was working on the screenplay,[4] which, according to Perrotta's official site, was completed in 2008. The planned movie was originally supposed to be co-directed by Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.[3] News of February 2011 state that the project has been taken over by The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko.[5]


  1. ^ Bancroft, Colette. "From page to screen", St. Petersburg Times, 2007-01-14.
  2. ^ Rich, Motoko. "A Writer's Search for the Sex in Abstinence", The New York Times, 2007-10-14. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  3. ^ a b LaPorte, Nicole, and Pamela McClintock. "'Sunshine' duo in talks for next feature: Dayton, Faris may adapt 'Abstinence Teacher'", Variety, 2006-12-06. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Missy. "The Q&A: Tom Perrotta: His Novel Take on Suburban Life", Entertainment Weekly, 2007-10-15. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  5. ^ news at IMDB.

External links[edit]