Winner of an Alex Award
High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the nineties, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents’ divorce, and the looming pressure of what might come after high school. Written in alternating chapters from both Tegan's and Sara’s points of view, the book is a raw account of the drugs, alcohol, love, music, and friendship they explored in their formative years.
A transcendent story of first loves and first songs, High School captures the tangle of discordant and parallel memories of two sisters who grew up in distinct ways even as they lived just down the hall from each another. This is the origin story of Tegan and Sara.
“This account of the pains and pleasures of dirtbag queer-girl adolescence is everything you could want from a memoir: honest and hilarious, dishy and sweet, smart and self-aware and utterly charming. What a gift to get this view of Tegan and Sara as sisters, as friends, and as artistic collaborators, as they were becoming musical icons, and—more importantly—themselves.”—Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties
“Intense, vulnerable and life-affirming. Tegan and Sara take us back through their whirlwind journey, densely packed with the intricate complications and the envious, unspoken connection of growing up an identical twin.”—Abbi Jacobson, author of I Might Regret This and co-creator of Broad City
“It should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever listened to a song by Tegan and Sara, that while not only are they able to convey the raw and complex emotions of the high school experience, the aimlessness of suburban life and the exhilaration of finding your way out, they also speak universal truths about intimacy between families and sisters, friends and lovers. They've captured a time and a place so perfectly, I can't exactly be sure that I wasn't there."—Busy Philipps, actress, Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek
"To navigate the experiential landscape of high school is always an emotional minefield. To have Tegan and Sara unabashedly share the perspective of young lesbians is a rare and invaluable gift. The kind of empathetic education our society is starved for.”—k.d. lang
“What a gift to read the coming of age story of the brilliant Tegan and Sara. High School gives us a glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of both sisters as individuals and an evolving band. Their vulnerability, honesty, and compassion bursts through, and will make countless people feel less alone. It is so important for the LGBTQ+ community to have memoirs like this in which they can recognize themselves and be inspired to follow their truth. I am endlessly grateful to Tegan and Sara for giving so much to this world.”—Ellen Page, actress and producer, The Umbrella Academy
"Tegan and Sara's literary coming-of-age memoir High School is an engrossing, sharply crafted, deeply authentic look at the misery of (queer) adolescence and the gorgeous glory of becoming yourself. So much angst and revelation, depression, inebriation, inspiration, vulnerability, and power. A wild, teenage ride I could not put down."—Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir
“With their music, Tegan and Sara offer listeners a glimpse at a specific time and place. In High School, they throw the door open and allow readers the opportunity to become fully immersed in their world. Tegan and Sara’s stories of first loves, self discovery, and the insights into their relationship with each other are deeply moving and relatable. They never hold back from the absolute authenticity they are known for. I never wanted it to end.”—Clea DuVall, actress and director, Veep, The Intervention
“High School highlights the indisputable fact that Tegan and Sara were never just musicians—they are master storytellers. In reflecting on that torturous span of time spent agonizing over one’s body, friendships, parents, and desires, this book highlights how high school is less of a place or memory but a metaphor for uncertainty, and underlines the salvation that can only be found in music. High School foreshadows the beginning of a rich and riveting literary career.”—Vivek Shraya, musician and author of I'm Afraid of Men
“This book is one of the most interesting and brave coming-of-age stories I have read in many years. Tegan and Sara reveal the confusion, the unraveling of personal truths, the fear, the excitement, the shame and the seclusion that many of us endure as we make our way through the world. This is also a book about how music saves people, how music gives us a voice and a reason to keep going.”—Jann Arden, singer, songwriter, and author of Feeding My Mother
“Tegan and Sara have pulled back the curtain on a formative chapter in their lives and offer a gloriously dizzying, richly observed account of how they became who they are today and what inspired the music we’ve come to know and love. Funny, frank, and so very cool, High School is basically the teenage best friend I always wanted growing up.”—Dan Levy, actor, producer, Schitt’s Creek
1. TEGAN WELCOME TO HIGH SCHOOL
“Tell her to get out. Tell her to leave us the fuck alone,” Sara screamed as we brawled and Mom tried to separate us. “Naomi’s my best friend. Tell her to get one of her own.”