September 24, 2009

Gossip Girl, Interrupted

Precocious memoirist and prep school malcontent Hannah Friedman assures Gelf self-loathing is hardly unique to public education.

Max Lakin

As W.H. Auden wrote, "Our sufferings and weaknesses, in so far as they are personal, are only interesting in so far as we can see them as typical of the human condition." And as Mac said in a recent episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "Personal memoirs are huge right now, but you don't want to end up like that Million Little Pieces guy—Oprah made him look like a total dick."

Hannah Friedman is 22, is from New York, and published her memoir this summer. To that end, she is already the scourge of all nonfiction authors not still in their early 20's. To heave salt in this wound, Friedman's book—Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool, an account of her experience at a private prep school that included bulimia, a cocaine habit, and cutting herself with a razor blade (basically a beach read)—is not her earliest credit. She is one of the youngest people to have been published in Newsweek for her 2004 article "When Your Friends Become the Enemy," about the college application process, after which she promptly attended Yale University, graduating in 2008. So it wasn't all terrible.

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- Books
- posted on Sep 22, 09
Laura Wheeton

I was hugely impressed by this memoir debut and I'm excited to hear that Hannah will be speaking! My niece raved about it, but I assumed it was one of those dime a dozen YA books about boys and lipgloss. Boy was I wrong. Hannah is not afraid to tackle some seriously adult issues with humor grace- everything from hypocrisy in drug policy to teen sex, eating disorders and an assault on the uninspiring methods of traditional education. This lady clearly has a lot to say, and take it from me, she's got quite a way of saying it. I'm keeping my eye out for the followup. Or for her appearance on Oprah- whatever comes first. Ha!


- Books
- posted on Sep 23, 09

This gal hit the nail directly on the head. I know! I went through it. I wish that I had the talent to write like her. I haven't read the book, but I certainly will and look forward to it!!!

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