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Scandalous new book about Smith?

cquinncquinn Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited June 2009 in Smith College
Hey everyone! Smith class of 2013 here and could not be more excited. A close friend of mine is going to Agnes Scott, a private, all-women, liberal arts school just outside of Atlanta. We are constantly joking about which school is better! She likes to go on about the "underground scandals" of Smith. Most recently, she told me a Smith alumna has just come out with a book about the antics of her four roommates during her years at Smith. She does not know the name, or really much info, but promises it exists. Any ideas of what it is called?
Post edited by cquinn on

Replies to: Scandalous new book about Smith?

  • stacystacy Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    the book is called Commencement. It's based loosely on the author's time at Smith but not on any particular people she knew there. A lot of alums are reading and discussing it--the consensus seems to be that there are some aspects of the book that ring true and many others that are exaggerated or inaccurate. But it might be a fun summer read.
  • borginborgin Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    The New York Times has an excerpt on their web site. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/books/chapter-commencement.html?_r=1
  • cquinncquinn Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thanks so much! I definitely will check it out.
  • MomwaitingfornewMomwaitingfornew Registered User Posts: 5,821 Senior Member
    BTW, people should realize that this is a *novel* (fiction), not fact, although, yes, it is based on her experiences at Smith.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    Is it really "scandalous"? I mean she is no Tom Wolfe, writing about Duke. :rolleyes:
  • je_ne_sais_quoije_ne_sais_quoi Registered User Posts: 714 Member
    Maria Russo reviewed the novel in the 6/14/2009 edition of The New York Times, available online.

    I plan to read the book, if only because Smith (my daughter's new home) is the crucible in which the women's longstanding friendships were forged.
  • lacy1lacy1 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    I just read the excerpt of the novel, it seems like a decent book. I would'nt call it a scandal
  • McPucks1357McPucks1357 Registered User Posts: 388 Member
    I read it a few weeks ago. It was a good book, but not great. Then again, it's not really in a genre I typically read, but it was about Smith so I bit.
  • CarolynBCarolynB Registered User Posts: 1,068 Senior Member
    FYI--There was a short interview of the author in the Boston Globe G Magazine today (6/20/09). She realized in her early twenties (she's now 27) that her very close Smith friends are going in very different directions with their lives, so she decided to write a book about that issue. Sounds like a reasonable premise to me, so I rather imagine we'll bite as well before school starts.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    If you are going to read just one book about Smith, it should be Jill Ker Conway's "A Woman's Education".
  • borginborgin Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    It's out of print, but I really enjoyed "Ivy Days" by Susan Allen Toth. Toth lived in Lawrence in the 1950s, just as the scholarship houses were getting phased out because many students were on financial aid and it didn't make sense to segregate them.

    There are a few copies in Neilson Library.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    I read what seemed to be a fairly perceptive review recently...either the LAT or NYT...and the book seemed neither scandalous nor something I was rushing out to buy, even as Smith-focused as I am. D mentioned it as a bit of "chick lit" that she was going to read when she was done with her current class, which is how I first heard of it.
  • borginborgin Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    I'm also of the impression that Commencement is chick-lit and not particularly scandalous. I'll probably borrow it from the library sometime this summer.
  • McPucks1357McPucks1357 Registered User Posts: 388 Member
    I would second that it's essentially chick lit. I will definitely look into "A Woman's Education" and "Ivy Days".
  • devotchkadevotchka Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    Oh please, it's not scandalous. It's a fun novel. And if you do think it's controvercial, it's more of a reason to attend Smith. ;)
This discussion has been closed.