Cleanness Characters

Garth Greenwell
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Narrator

The novel’s unnamed protagonist/narrator is a man in his mid-to-late twenties. He is originally from the United States, and he lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is an aspiring writer, and he makes a living by teaching literature and creative writing to high school students. The book follows the narrator’s struggles with love and loneliness in Sofia. The narrator is homosexual, and he is fairly open about his sexuality, despite the fact that there is much societal homophobia in Bulgaria. The narrator forms a romantic/sexual relationship with a 21-year-old Portuguese man, whom the narrator refers to only as “R.” Their relationship is deeply loving and mutually fulfilling.

R. eventually decides that he does not wish to live in Sofia indefinitely. R. eventually returns to Portgual and breaks off their relationship. While grieving for the loss of this relationship, the narrator tries to soothe...

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This section contains 1,159 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Cleanness Study Guide
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