Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This was indeed a novel of education, but I feel as though I am the one emerging from naivete to come of age.
Anisha Lakhani's novel, Schooled, concerns the lifestyle of academic dishonesty by those involved with Manhattan's private prep schools. Written by someone who taught in this environment, the book's insider view is similar to that of The Nanny Diaries. Given her priviledged perspective, it's certainly possible that the author's intent was to mock or satire, and I certainly hope so, else it's disturbing.
Although I got wrapped up in the chapters as I read, whenever I put the book down I was reluctant to return. The sickeningly vapid, unethical scenarios and quick-change priorities of the characters bothered me enough to cause related dreams at night. Perhaps that's only because I am an educator.
When I edit for friends or students, I emphasize a need for timelessness. Lakhani has no such concerns. Her references to fashion and pop culture were probably out of date as soon as the book shipped to stores.
Bottom line: this book is interesting in the same way all horrifying atrocities are. Be forewarned; you may feel sickened by the voyeuristic experience this novel affords.