The Tragedy Paper
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The Tragedy Paper

By (author) Elizabeth LaBan

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Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition - they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave behind a "treasure" for each incoming senior. When Duncan Meade inherits the room and secrets of Tim Macbeth, he uncovers evidence of a clandestine romance, and unravels the truth behind one of the biggest mysteries in the school's history. How far would you go to keep a secret?

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  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 232g
  • 01 Aug 2013
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London
  • English
  • 0552569097
  • 9780552569095
  • 106,731

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Author Information

Elizabeth LaBan worked at NBC News, taught at a community college, and has written for several magazines and newspapers. The Tragedy Paper is her first young adult novel. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

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Review quote

"An astonishing and beautiful read that is just dripping with atmosphere." -- Lindsay Foley Sugarscape "LaBan's debut - reminiscent of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why - compassionately illustrates the tragedy of withholding love and friendship, or worse, never having the courage to seek them out." Entertainment Weekly "Tim's first-person voice is a compelling combination of compassion and analysis, revealing his lifelong challenge of albinism, the unexpected romantic triangle he enters into, and choices that set in motion unfortunate events... A playful element infuses the story as tragic themes described in English class play out in the characters' dramas, adding texture to this strong debut." Publishers Weekly "Debut novelist LaBan takes us into the private school culture as well as the heads of two charming yet very different teenage boys and their parallel love stories ... Nonexistent parents, well-intentioned, likeable faculty on the periphery, elaborate dorm rooms with overstuffed closets, even the romantic, snow-covered campus all contribute to a setting that adds to the story's heft and intrigue." Starred Review, Booklist "This novel is relatable and unusually gripping, even for an older reader - full of slings and arrows and outrageous fortune. Readers should find themselves fairly ripping through the pages to uncover the mystery of what happened, and why ... Romantic love, hard work, loyalty, friendship, suffering: Like the great tragedies that inspired the novel, it's all here. LaBan's take on adolescent life is rendered in the sweet, intelligent tradition of John Irving, but without any of the prep-school genre's self-satisfaction. And in the end, this story is about more than personal failure (and triumph), or the nature of tragedy. It's also a story about art and how it can redeem us." The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Review text

This novel is relatable and unusually gripping, even for an older reader - full of slings and arrows and outrageous fortune. Readers should find themselves fairly ripping through the pages to uncover the mystery of what happened, and why . . . Romantic love, hard work, loyalty, friendship, suffering: Like the great tragedies that inspired the novel, it's all here. LaBan's take on adolescent life is rendered in the sweet, intelligent tradition of John Irving, but without any of the prep-school genre's self-satisfaction. And in the end, this story is about more than personal failure (and triumph), or the nature of tragedy. It's also a story about art and how it can redeem us.

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Back cover copy

“What you are about to hear, the words, the music, my downfall, will serve you better than you ever could have imagined. I am giving you the best gift you could ask for – your Tragedy Paper.” Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York State, the graduating students uphold a historic tradition – they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave behind a “treasure” for each incoming senior. When Duncan Meade inherits the room and the secrets of Tim Macbeth, he uncovers evidence of a clandestine romance, and unravels the truth behind one of the biggest mysteries in the school’s history. “A beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak” – Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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