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The Humn Stain is the story of Coleman Silk, a distinguished professor at a prestigious New England college whose proffessional life is shattered by allegations of racism and whose personal life is infected with cancer of a lie he has been living for fifty years. His career and reputation in ruin, Silk begins a dynamic ressurection through two new relationships; one, a friendship with the writer Zuckerman, whom he intrigues with his story, the other a scandalous affair with a young woman.