Jorge bucay

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To my family: Sydney Green, Mike Green, and Hank Green "I have tried so hard to do right." (last words of President Grover Cleveland)

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acknowledgments

before

after

about the author

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acknowledgments
using small type that does not reflect the size of my debt, I need to acknowledge some things: First, that this book would have been utterly impossible if not for the extraordinary kindness of my friend, editor, quasi-agent, and mentor, Ilene Cooper. Ilene is like a fairy godmother, only real, and also better dressed. Second,that I am amazingly fortunate to have Julie Strauss-Gabel as my editor at Dutton, and even luckier to have become her friend. Julie is every writer's dream editor: caring, passionate, and inarguably brilliant. This right here, her acknowledgment, is the one thing in the whole book she couldn't edit, and I think we can agree it suffered as a result. Third, that Donna Brooks believed in this story fromthe beginning and did much to shape it. I'm also indebted to Margaret Woollatt of Dutton, whose name contains too many consonants but who is a really top-notch person. And thanks as well to the talented Sarah Shumway, whose careful reading and astute comments were a blessing to me. Fourth, that I am very grateful to my agent, Rosemary Sandberg, who is a tireless advocate for her authors. Also,she is British. She says "Cheers" when she means to say "Later." How great is that? Fifth, that the comments of my two best friends in the entire world, Dean Simakis and Will Hickman, were essential to the writing and revision of this story, and that I, uh, you know, love them. Sixth, that I am indebted to, among many others, Shannon James (roommate), Katie Else (I promised), Hassan Arawas (friend),Braxton Goodrich (cousin), Mike Goodrich (lawyer, and also cousin), Daniel Biss (professional mathematician), Giordana Segneri (friend), Jenny Lawton (long story), David Rojas and Molly Hammond (friends), Bill Ott (role model), Amy Krouse Rosenthal (got me on the radio), Stephanie Zvirin (gave me my first real job), P. F. Kluge (teacher), Diane Martin (teacher), Perry Lentz (teacher), Don Rogan(teacher), Paul MacAdam (teacher—I am a big fan of teachers), Ben Segedin (boss and friend), and the lovely Sarah Urist. Seventh, that I attended high school with a wonderful bunch of people. I would like to particularly thank the indomitable Todd Cartee and also Olga Charny, Sean Titone, Emmett Cloud, Daniel Alarcon, Jennifer Jenkins, Chip Dunkin, and MLS.http://dc142.4shared.com/download/98855612/9daf06c9/Looking_for_Alaska_by_John_G... 4/23/2009

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looking for alaska

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before

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one hundred thirty-six days before
the week before I left myfamily and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party. To say that I had low expectations would be to underestimate the matter dramatically. Although I was more or less forced to invite all my "school friends," i.e., the ragtag bunch of drama people and English geeks I sat with by social necessity in the cavernouscafeteria of my public school, I knew they wouldn't come. Still, my mother persevered, awash in the delusion that I had kept my popularity secret from her all these years. She cooked a small mountain of artichoke dip. She festooned our living room in green and yellow streamers, the colors of my new school. She bought two dozen champagne poppers and placed them around the edge of our coffee table....
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