• Picador
Reading Group Gold
Acceptance - Susan CollSee larger image
See Hi-Res Jpeg image


email/print EmailPrint

Acceptance



Book Buy
Ebook Ebook 
    
Share this book with friends through your favorite social networking site. Share:           Bookmark and Share
Add this title to your virtual bookshelves at any of these book community sites. Shelve:             
sign up to get updates about this author
add this book's widget
to your site or blog

About The Author

Susan CollSusan Coll

Susan Coll is the author of the novels karlmarx.com: A Love Story and Rockville Pike. She lives in Washington, D.C., and she and her husband are the parents of three college-aged children.

photo: © Lauren Shay Lavin

Stay In Touch

Sign up to recieve information about new releases, author appearances, special offers, all related to you favorite authors and books.

Other Books You Might Like

cover Pre-Order

More formats
eBook
The Stager
A Novel

Sarah Crichton Books
The Stager is a comedy of rabbits and real estate in the D.C. suburbs from Susan Coll, the author of Acceptance and Beach Week Dominique is one very...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Beach Week
A Novel

Picador
Ah, Beach Week: a time-honored tradition in which the D.C. suburbs’ high school grads flock to Chelsea Beach for seven whole days of debauchery. In this dark...
  
cover Buy
The Manikin
A Novel

Picador
The Manikin is not a mannequin, but the curious estate of Henry Craxton, Sr. in a rural western New York State. Dubbed the “Henry Ford of Natural...
cover Buy
Mr. Mee
A Novel

Picador
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year In this inventive novel, octogenarian book collector Mr. Mee discovers the Internet with life-changing results....
cover Buy
Clockers
A Novel

Picador
Novelist and Academy Award–nominated screenwriter Richard Price's bestselling second novel offers "an unforgettable picture of inner-city decay and despair"...
  Bonus
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Affairs of Others
A Novel

Picador
A MESMERIZING DEBUT NOVEL ABOUT A YOUNG WOMAN, HAUNTED BY LOSS, WHO REDISCOVERS PASSION AND POSSIBILITY WHEN SHE'S DRAWN INTO THE TANGLED LIVES OF HER...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Day/Night
Travels in the Scriptorium and Man in the Dark

Picador
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ONE VOLUME, TWO EXISTENTIAL CLASSICS BY BESTSELLING NOVELIST PAUL AUSTER Day/Night brings together two metaphysical novels that mirror...
  
cover Buy
The Man Who Wasn't There

Picador
Twelve-year-old Colin knows little about his father except that he must have fought in the war. His mother, totally absorbed by the nightclub where she works,...
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Words of Radiance

Tor Books
Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive sequence began in 2010 with the New York Times bestseller The Way of Kings. Now, the eagerly anticipated Words of...
  
cover Buy
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Slide and Find

Priddy Books
Eric Carle’s familiar illustrations of brown bear, red bird, yellow duck and the other endearing animals from his classic creation parade across the pages of...
  Bonus
cover Buy
Numbers Colors Shapes

Priddy Books
Your little one will soon learn their first numbers, shapse and colors with this bright board book. There are 100 color pictures which they will love to look...

Reading Group Gold

About this Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about Acceptance are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Acceptance.



Praise for Acceptance

"Bristles with enough wit and ambition to earn honors."—Entertainment Weekly

"If your teen is among the thousands of high school seniors anxiously awaiting their college Acceptance letters, Coll’s witty satire of the admissions process will provide both of you with some much-needed comic relief." —Life magazine

"Hilarious and dismaying." —George F. Will, Newsweek

"Coll’s tale of the harrowing days of college admission is spot-on." —People

"Skillfully executed . . . a winning social comedy . . . Captures the reasoned irrationality of teens . . . It will prove a winning combination for readers who are in the throes of the rejection letter hype." —USA Today

"Coll neatly captures the irony and humor of an era in which colleges peddle to junior high kids and Saturdays are all about SAT prep." —The Christian Science Monitor



Discussion Questions

1. Grace is the first parent we meet in Acceptance. How does her household compare to the others in her neighborhood? Is Harry at a disadvantage by having been raised by a single parent?

2. Not all of Verona’s students are as academically driven as Harry. What separates the overachievers from the underachievers? Do either of these categories describe your experience in school?

3. What are the similarities between Harry’s and Taylor’s obsessions? As harry becomes fixated on admission to Harvard and Taylor compulsively hoards mail, what insecurities are they soothing? What quirky obsessions would you admit to having?

4. How does Maya cope in the shadow of her high-achieving siblings? Why do her parents despise academic mediocrity? Can you picture Maya thriving as a college athlete?

5. How have attitudes toward college admission changed since you were in high school? How did your school compare to Verona? What did your parents tell you about higher education?

6. In the seventh chapter (October), Harry runs into Lily Wong, who moved to an inner-city school district after a college counselor said she stood a better chance of getting into Harvard if she did "something to counter the smart Asian-kid stereotype." Does this scenario capture any realities?

7. Discuss the relationship between money and education described throughout the novel. What did money buy for the wealthiest families? Should Lily’s inner-city school receive the same amount of funding (per student) as Verona?

8. In your opinion, what does an SAT score measure? Would you pay for your child to receive the daily "test prep" recorded message featured in the novel?

9. What makes the concept of college admissions competitiveness such a good target for spoofing? How is the author able to blend humor with serious topics, and realism with the absurd? Which exaggerations were your favorites?

10. How is Maya’s outlook on success shaped by her summer in India? What had she believed about typical teenagers? Are the students depicted in the novel typical teenagers?

11. Nina insists that Taylor needs Acceptance to a university where she will find a rich husband. Does a young woman’s key to success differ from a young man’s? How have college admissions standards changed since Nina was on the hunt for a spouse?

12. What is the effect of the sometimes elaborate background stories given for various characters, such as Basil Dickerson’s history at Enron, "overseeing the trading of charity futures"?

13. Discuss the satire of academia in Acceptance. After exercising so much power, why must Olivia remain an acting dean and compete in a recruitment search? Will she ever get to be truly in charge of anything? What are the honest answers to the applicants’ questions about getting into a top-tier school?

14. Taylor decides not to follow the considerable advice she receives regarding her application essay, and her decision to be frank almost keeps her out of college. What would have happened if she had crafted a "selling" essay for college admissions?

15. The Yashequana lawsuit recalls headlines about prestigious universities that now have to confront embarrassing aspects of their histories. How do the current goals of these universities compare to the principles on which they were founded?

16. What were your reactions to the novel’s ending? Which would have served Harry better: huge debt and a Harvard degree, or a free ride at the University of Maryland?

17. In the epilogue, Harry reads a statistic that implies it’s harder to get a job at Wal-Mart than to be admitted to Harvard. How does the competitive scenario described in Acceptance compare to life after college? To what degree do American universities resemble corporations?

You May Also Be Interested In

cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Someone
A Novel

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author An ordinary life—its sharp pains and...
  Bonus
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Wisdom of Psychopaths
What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success

A Scientific American Book
In this engrossing journey into the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behaviors, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Quesadillas
A Novel

FSG Originals
A brilliant new comic novel from “a linguistic virtuoso” (José Antonio Aguado, Diari de Terrassa) It’s the 1980s in Lagos de Moreno—a town where there are...
  Bonus