February 24, 2004

Old School

Old School
Tobias Wolf


(February 24, 2004)

A memoir of a young writer who finds himself slightly out-of-place and out-of-sorts at a New England prep school where one chosen boy, each year, gets to spend a golden hour alone in the headmaster's garden with a literary lion. Robert Frost and Ayn Rand arrive and depart, and now Hemingway is coming, and his imminent arrival sets the old boys -- and the obscure Masters -- on edge.

An interesting companion to Wallace Stegner's Crossing To Safety, a very different book that is also a long look back by a successful writer who wonders if, after all, he has always played too safe.