John McNally, Editor-When I Was A Loser

True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School by Today�s Top Writers
[Free Press]

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John McNally, Editor-When I Was A Loser

The lowdown on high school...

There are bronzed jocks

and pimple-faced dweebs in these essays about “barely surviving high school.” But the 25 “true stories” submitted by up-and-coming fiction writers (Owen King, Lisa Gabriele, Sean Doolittle and others) lift the fog of nostalgia that has enshrouded the high-school experience in pop culture and actually shine some new light on those trying times.

Not all contributors were dorks (though Will Clarke is called the “Will-tarde”); some were even half-cool (Zsa Zsa Gabor interrupts Todd Goldberg’s romantic tryst). But most are able to discuss the clichéd angst of adolescence with surprisingly fresh language—with an honest, restorative effect.

High school wasn’t the “best time” of these writers’ lives—but it surely has made for the best kind of reading material: In this collection, high school never sucks the same way twice.