East of the sun and west of the moon

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  • Published 20091201
  • ISBN: 9781921520860
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE NEW GIRLS is a 1979 novel by Beth Gutcheon. It relates the lives of five teenage girls, students of an expensive and exclusive girls’ boarding school in New England, USA, in the 1960s, and is not a pretty story. It is a fictional exploration and exposé of life in the school Beth Gutcheon herself attended, Miss Porter’s, in Connecticut. Among daughters of the rich and famous, the most celebrated graduate of Miss Porter’s was Jackie Kennedy.

In the July 2009 issue of Vanity Fair there is an article by Evgenia Peretz on a 2008 scandal at Miss Porter’s. A student was systematically tormented by her classmates and allegedly became so distressed that she cheated on a test and then confessed to the cheating, and was expelled. Instead of going quietly she is suing the school, something not dreamt of by the characters in The New Girls.

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