by Tobias Wolff
What It's About
“It seemed to me, and not only to me, that they knew exactly what was most worth knowing.” So writes the unnamed narrator of Tobias Wolff’s Old School about the English teachers at his all-male prep school. It is 1960, and the students are caught up in a year of competition to see whose work will win them the honor of a personal audience with visiting writers Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway. Through the lens of these competitions, Wolff writes incisively and movingly about identity, friendship, truth, and literature—and what happens when they intersect.
Why We're Reading It
Old School raises a series of questions that are particularly relevant to the themes of Re:Thinking Education: How do we learn “what is most worth knowing?” What binds us to a place, a tradition, a shared purpose? When do we strike out on our own to claim our own future? Wolff’s portrayal of a group of boys intoxicated by poetry, self-examination, and aspirations of greatness provides a funny, stinging, evocative examination of many of the “big questions” of the liberal arts tradition.
Where To Buy It
Buy a hard copy from the campus bookstore.
Order a new hard copy online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Order a used hard copy online from ABE Books or Amazon
Purchase an e-copy for iBooks, Nook, or Kindle