Thursday, January 9, 2020

Eight stories about students and teachers behaving badly

Caroline Zancan is the author of the novels Local Girls and We Wish You Luck. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. A Senior Editor at Henry Holt, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their children.

At Electric Lit she tagged eight stories about what really happens on campus, including:
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep is the consummate campus novel—its jacket still pops up in my mind like a billboard on an abandoned highway when I consider the genre. I remember being at first puzzled and then completely thrilled upon reading it my senior year of college, that this big, serious novel everyone was talking about didn’t have some epic, winding plot or live or die stakes—it was simply about the interior life of a young girl at a prestigious east coast boarding school who sometimes struggles to make sense of her place in the world, and connect meaningfully with people around her. Yes, there was a pink belt on the jacket, but everything else about the book’s packaging—from its trim size to the Tom Perrotta blurb on the cover—made it clear that it was meant to be taken as more than a beach read or chick-lit despite its young heroine. And rightly so—the journey through this one high school career manages to say meaningful, memorable things about race and class. And I still remember being completely scandalized by that cheese or fish dichotomy! (I’ll avoid expounding not to avoid spoilers, but because as a repressed Catholic school girl I’m already blushing. Just read the book.)
Read about the other entries on the list.

Prep is among Lucy Worsley's six best books and James Browning's ten best boarding school books.

--Marshal Zeringue