Old School

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2004 - Fiction - 195 pages
31 Reviews
The protagonist of Tobias Wolff’s shrewdly—and at times devastatingly—observed first novel is a boy at an elite prep school in 1960. He is an outsider who has learned to mimic the negligent manner of his more privileged classmates. Like many of them, he wants more than anything on earth to become a writer. But to do that he must first learn to tell the truth about himself.

The agency of revelation is the school literary contest, whose winner will be awarded an audience with the most legendary writer of his time. As the fever of competition infects the boy and his classmates, fraying alliances, exposing weaknesses, Old School explores the ensuing deceptions and betrayals with an unblinking eye and a bottomless store of empathy. The result is further evidence that Wolff is an authentic American master.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john.cooper - LibraryThing

A vivid semi-autobiographical novel about a writer-to-be at an exclusive and competitive New England prep school where literature is everything, and student writers compete for the right to personal ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keneumey - LibraryThing

Old School is about a prep school boy trying to win a literary contest so he can meet Robert Frost, Ayn Rand or Ernest Hemingway. The three authors are characters in the book as they visit the school ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Tobias Wolff lives in Northern California and teaches at Stanford University. He has received the Rea Award for excellence in the short story, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.


From the Hardcover edition.

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