The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It was odd reading this, having both worked at "Irving School" and attended a boarding school (although mine was all girls, not co-ed). Some of it sounded so very familiar from both perspectives, while some of it was - I thought - influenced by books like A Separate Peace.
Tim Macbeth's seeming lack of knowledge of his namesake was a bit odd, as was the fact that it was so easy for the past seniors to leave alcohol for the incoming seniors as a treasure (it would have been fine when I was in school, ditto the author, because of the drinking age being 18, but now? perhaps I'm just naive). It was great that his story was handed to Duncan; as Mr. Simon says (sorry, didn't mean the pun!) the two of them have history. As Duncan gets drawn further and further into Tim's story, you can see his wheels turning in terms of figuring out exactly what happened and what his (Duncan's) role might have been.
Tying this into the idea of tragedy, and literally asking the question at one point about the difference between a literary tragedy and a tragic happening will, I hope, make readers think about the two. It's also great that the tips to writing a great paper are included (I wonder if those came from the author's personal papers, when she had to write hers).