The Ask Summary
Sam Lipsyte

Everything you need to understand or teach The Ask by Sam Lipsyte.

  • The Ask Summary & Study Guide

The Ask Overview

The Ask is a novel by Sam Lipsyte that was published in 2010. The novel follows New York City resident Milo Burke, who once aspired to be a successful painter, but who now works an unfulfilling job in the fundraising department of a mediocre university. One day, his superiors tell Milo that he will permanently lose his job unless he can secure a large donation from the wealthy Purdy Stuart, with whom Milo was friends in college. Milo’s efforts to secure this donation lead to dramatic and unforeseen entanglements. Meanwhile, Milo must also face the steady deterioration of his relationship with his wife Maura. The novel explores themes of success, failure, capitalism, family, identity, and personal agency.

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