Easily clip, save and share what you find with family and friends. Easily download and save what you find. Go Ask Alice, first edition almost lost beatrice sparks pdf, Prentice Hall 1971. Go Ask Alice is a 1971 fiction book about a teenage girl who develops a drug habit at age 15 and runs away from home on a journey of self-destructive escapism.
Attributed to “Anonymous”, the book is in diary form, and was originally presented as being the edited “real diary” of the unnamed teenage protagonist. Intended for a young adult audience, Go Ask Alice became a widely popular bestseller. The book was adapted into the 1973 television film Go Ask Alice, starring Jamie Smith-Jackson and William Shatner. In 1976, a stage play of the same name, written by Frank Shiras and based on the book, was also published. In 1968, a 14-year-old girl begins keeping a diary, in which she records her thoughts and concerns about issues such as crushes, weight loss, sexuality, social acceptance, and relating to her parents. The diarist’s father, a college professor, accepts a dean position at a new college, causing the family to relocate. The diarist has difficulty adjusting to her new school, but soon becomes best friends with a girl named Beth.
When Beth leaves for summer camp, the diarist returns to her hometown to stay with her grandparents. She meets an old school acquaintance, who invites her to a party. The diarist befriends a hip girl, Chris, with whom she continues to use drugs. They date college students Richie and Ted, who deal drugs and persuade the two girls to help them by selling drugs at schools. When the girls walk in on Richie and Ted stoned and having sex with each other, they realize their boyfriends were just using them to make money.
Back at home, the diarist encounters social pressure from her drug scene friends, and has problems getting along with her parents. Chris and the diarist try to stay away from drugs, but their resolve lapses and they end up on probation after being caught in a police raid. The diarist gets high one night and runs away. Released from the hospital, the diarist returns home, finally free of drugs.
She now gets along better with her family, makes new friends, and is romantically involved with Joel, a responsible student from her father’s college. She is worried about starting school again, but feels stronger with the support of her new friends and Joel. In an optimistic mood, the diarist decides to stop keeping a diary and instead discuss her problems and thoughts with other people. The epilogue states that the subject of the book died three weeks after the final entry. The diarist was found dead in her home by her parents when they returned from a movie.
She died from a drug overdose, either accidental or premeditated. The anonymous diarist’s name is never revealed in the book. In an episode where the diarist describes having sex with a drug dealer, she quotes an onlooker’s remark indicating that her name may be Carla. Despite the lack of any evidence in the book that the diarist’s name is Alice, the covers of various editions have suggested that her name is Alice by including blurb text such as “This is Alice’s true story” and “You can’t ask Alice anything anymore. But you can do something—read her diary. In the 1973 television film based on the book, the protagonist played by Jamie Smith-Jackson is named “Alice”. The protagonist is also named “Alice Aberdeen” in the 1976 stage play adaptation.
The manuscript that later became Go Ask Alice was initially prepared for publication by Beatrice Sparks, a Mormon therapist and youth counselor then in her early 50s, who had previously done various forms of writing. With the help of Art Linkletter, a popular talk show host for whom Sparks had worked as a ghostwriter, the manuscript was passed on to Linkletter’s literary agent, who sold it to Prentice Hall. Upon its 1971 publication, Go Ask Alice quickly became a publishing sensation and an international bestseller, being translated into 16 languages. Libraries had difficulty obtaining and keeping enough copies of the book on the shelves to meet demand. By 1975, more than three million copies of the book had reportedly been sold, and by 1979 the paperback edition had been reprinted 43 times. The book remained continuously in print over the ensuing decades, with reported sales of over four million copies by 1998, and over five million copies by 2009. Go Ask Alice received positive initial reviews, including praise from Webster Schott in The New York Times, who called it an “extraordinary work”, a “superior work” and a “document of horrifying reality possesses literary quality”.
Although school boards and committees reached varying conclusions about whether Go Ask Alice had literary value, educators generally viewed it as a strong cautionary warning against drug use. Go Ask Alice was originally published by Prentice Hall in 1971 as the work of an unnamed author “Anonymous”. The original edition contained a note signed by “The Editors” that included the statements, “Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user. Names, dates, places and certain events have been changed in accordance with the wishes of those concerned. The cover art of the Avon Books paperback edition of Go Ask Alice presented it as “A Real Diary”. Upon its publication, almost all contemporary reviewers and the general public accepted it as primarily authored by an anonymous teenager.
According to Lauren Adams, Publishers Weekly magazine was the only source to question the book’s authenticity on the grounds that it “seem awfully well written”. Beatrice Sparks began making public appearances presenting herself as the book’s editor. In an article by Nilsen, based in part on interviews with Sparks and published in the October 1979 issue of School Library Journal, Sparks said that she had received the diaries that became Go Ask Alice from a girl she had befriended at a youth conference. Nilsen wrote that Sparks now wanted to be seen as the author of the popular Go Ask Alice in order to promote additional books in the same vein that she had published or was planning to publish. These books included Jay’s Journal, another alleged diary of a real teenager that Sparks was later accused of mostly authoring herself.