Curtis Sittenfeld Message Board

posts on 6/10/2006 12:42:47 AM I just finished Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, and found it fun summer reading, but ultimately not that good (she's no J.D. Salinger). The portraits of "authentic" students from different ethnic and economic backgrounds, for example, were stereotypes: the black girl who is turned in by the main character for stealing and is then kicked out of school; the Asian girl who attempts suicide; and the New England redneck/townie who works in the kitchen. The book is over-written, as the NYTimes reviewer said, at 400 pages and is way too proud of its clever self. (Is it really Lee talking when she goes on and on in her reflections--or the author?) Where the author succeeds is in portraying Lee's persistent mediocrity (she's a heroine that we're only about half pulling for) and keeping us hooked with her characterization of cliques and titilating sex at boarding school. Will Sittenfeld continue to be successful? Popular, but any good? She's already had the temerity to compare herself with Sylvia Plath (they had somewhat similar career trajectories, I know--but still). Time will tell.

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