Teacher Praised for Book Tied to Affair With Student, 17

Blur of fact, fiction raises troubling issues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2011 2:48 AM CST
Bounced High School Teacher Alexander Maksick Wins Kudos for Book Tied to His Affair With Student
Author Alexander Maksik, dining out in Paris.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – A teacher bounced from an international American high school after having an affair with a 17-year-old student is winning critical acclaim—for his novel about a teacher who has an affair with his student, reports Jezebel. Reviewers from the New York Times to novelists are gushing about Alexander Maksik's book, You Deserve Nothing. But students at the American School of Paris, including one who calls him a "sick bastard," complain that almost all the events of the book are real. The disgusted victim says Maksik used personal information she told him in confidence, notes Jezebel's Elissa Strauss.

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Part of the book is even written from her perspective, placing the teacher in a glowing light, notes Strauss. The author never discussed the book with the former student, nor asked her permission to publish it. The ending is apparently the only thing strikingly different from reality, with the student "still dreaming" about her teacher. The Times has praised the book's "moral ambiguity," and novelist Alice Sebold has hailed the "fearless" author. It's unlikely either knew how closely the novel's events mirror reality. Maksik and his publisher didn't respond to Jezebel for comment. Some students said they complained to the Times, but "nobody took much interest." Click for more on the story. (Read more American School of Paris stories.)

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