Higher Education

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A novel for teens & adults

“Pliscou has managed here to bring to life a particular segment of a generation, with all its vapidities and flaws and spoilage, and yet has never stooped to any kind of dime-store nihilism about them or their world. . . Plus some of the funniest dialogue I’ve read in a long time — both painfully real and funny, which is quite an authorial coup.” —David Foster Wallace

“An engaging first novel that summons up the feel of campus life (specifically Harvard) in the early 80s. . . An effective evocation of time and place by a promising, natural talent.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The author exactly captures the malaise, the suppressed anxiety about the future and the contrary enjoyment of life that characterize the contemporary collegian.” —Publishers Weekly

“In a neat trick, this amusing, breezy novel about a Harvard senior manages to convey the typical concerns of college student. . . A deft coming-of-age story.” —Booklist

“A brilliant time capsule from the 80s, Higher Education takes readers on a breakneck tour through ten days in the vertiginous life of a Harvard senior, Miranda Walker, and the result is hilarious, whipsmart, and maybe just a little bit sad. It’s a perfect depiction of the end of college, when life feels like a sinking ship. Luckily for us, Miranda isn’t going down quietly.” —Tara Altebrando

“Pliscou’s dialogue, which makes up the bulk of the novel, is eerily perfect. She seems to have the things uniquely odd and endearing about college students — their carefully orchestrated combinations of intelligence and ignorance, jadedness and naiveté, passion and indifference — wholly within her understanding. It makes her writing seem less like a book and more like a story told among friends about a shared experience.”—The Orient

“Lisa Pliscou’s sharp, funny, moving novel is a reminder that the most important lessons never take place in a classroom.  This is an honest look at the beginning of life without a net, and it rings true on every page.” —Amy Garvey

“I nothing less than love this book. No other author could be so smooth with such complicated characters. She is a wit, a thrilling intellect, a pleasure.” —Mary Robison

“Wonderful . . . I don’t know when I have enjoyed a book more. I expected it to be bright and sharp and funny, but it far exceeded my expectations. Pliscou’s characters walk off the pages — even the minor ones — and Miranda is an absolute tour de force.” —Betsy Byars

“A highly energetic and original voice in fiction . . . Most of the protagonists are too clever for their own good, too witty, too beautiful, too invulnerable to a world they haven’t yet encountered. Miranda Walker may have the slickest veneer of all, but the beauty of Lisa Pliscou’s first novel is that she sees that perfect image crack. This is the story of a generation that knows more about posturing than about living, by a writer who is acute enough to see the difference. . . She has an ear, and she has a vision.” —Loot