Aug 24 2020

Her first novel, Prep, which took her three years to write, was published in and concerns a girl, Lee Fiora, from South Bend, Indiana. Prep A Novel Written by Curtis Sittenfeld Prep Category: Fiction – Literary; Fiction – Coming Of Age; Fiction – Sagas Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks. PREP By Curtis Sittenfeld. pp. Random House. $ Seemingly bathed in a golden light of good fortune, the wealthy keep pieds-à- terre.

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Lee Fiora is a dorky year-old from an embarrassingly ordinary family in South Bend, Indiana, who ends up at Ault, an exclusive Massachusetts boarding school.

Curtis Sittenfeld – Wikipedia

Prep is the story of her survival there. It is about how she learns to fit in somewhere she doesn’t belong, only to suffer social death the moment she finally feels accepted.

After rave reviews and becoming a New York Times bestseller, it has also been optioned as a film by Paramount. Prep doesn’t come sugar-coated: Ault is the sort of place where, if you’re a girl, your social standing is measured by the intricacy of the flower zittenfeld on your bedspread.


If you’re a boy who dislikes sport, you might as well start writing your suicide note now. Scholarship girl Lee does not fit it at all: She both cares too much and not enough about what others think.

Curtis Sittenfeld

She is not pretty enough to fit in as a female and she is not a strong enough personality to become one of Ault’s rare outsider loner types. Lee is an observer, an expert on Ault’s rituals and secret codes dittenfeld the outside, a memoriser of the school yearbook and a desperate student of insider jargon.

The schoolmates who touch Lee’s life, not that she notices until years later the novel is written in retrospectprovide some of the book’s most poignant moments. Lee teaches the wealthy but paranoid Conchita to ride a bike and finally gets to give cool girl Aspeth a haircut before realising that it is a bit demeaning to be the school hairdresser.

The irony is that Lee never registers that many of the students around her are just as unhappy as she is, that under the cheerleader exterior, they, too, are dying. Lee slowly does discover, though, that some are not quite what they appear: In the end, despite all her forensic observations, Lee understands virtually nothing at Ault until years after she leaves. Sittenfeld’s strength is curis making this experience feel universal.


Despite the American specifics, everyone will wince with recognition at the horror of being a teenager. It’s great to relive it all, now that it is happening to someone else. Topics Books The Observer. Fiction Curtis Sittenfeld reviews.