The Chandler Legacies
From the Stonewall Honor–winning author of Like a Love Story comes a revelatory novel about the enclosed world of privilege and silence at an elite boarding school and the unlikely group of friends who dare to challenge the status quo through their writing. Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Kathleen Glasgow, and Jandy Nelson, with crossover appeal for readers of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep.
Beth Kramer is a “townie” who returns to her sophomore year after having endured a year of tension with her roommate, Sarah.
But Sarah Brunson knows there’s more to that story.
Amanda Priya “Spence” Spencer is the privileged daughter of NYC elites, who is reeling from the realization that her family name shielded her from the same fate as Sarah.
Ramin Golafshar arrives at Chandler as a transfer student to escape the dangers of being gay in Iran, only to suffer brutal hazing under the guise of tradition in the boys’ dorms.
And Freddy Bello is the senior who’s no longer sure of his future but knows he has to stand up to his friends after what happened to Ramin.
At Chandler, the elite boarding school, these five teens are brought together in the Circle, a coveted writing group where life-changing friendships are born—and secrets are revealed. Their professor tells them to write their truths. But is the truth enough to change the long-standing culture of abuse at Chandler? And can their friendship survive the fallout?
Praise for The Chandler Legacies
"While writing a classic school story, Nazemian does a superb job of giving his chief characters individual, idiosyncratic identities while also bringing the writing workshop to life…. [a] wellcrafted, memorable story whose sympathetic characters will resonate with readers. Professor Douglas would surely give it an A." — ALA Booklist (starred review)
“Inspired by Nazemian’s own boarding school experiences, this gripping story reads like an insider’s exposé into abusive school cultures and trauma. Haunting truths and compelling storytelling make for an unforgettable, important read.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Nazemian’s novel is an uplifting and positive coming-of-age exploration of friendship, love, and creativity and how these things can help individuals heal and set themselves free to formulate their own legacies.” — Horn Book Magazine
“A compelling narrative that examines the realities of hidden abuse and the power of storytelling and unexpected friendship.… Will leave readers thinking about the naivete that comes with privilege and the value of listening to others.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Nazemian’s sharp social commentary makes this a riveting portrait of prep school life.” — Publishers Weekly
“As the members of the Circle bond, becoming like family, they share their own secrets and discover much larger and more harmful ones having to do with student well-being that Chandler has kept for years…. [The Chandler Legacies’ does] vital work in discussing issues of sexual assault, hazing, and rampant homophobia.” — Kirkus Reviews
"Abdi Nazemian is a true artist, writing about beauty, hope, courage, and the most vulnerable parts of being human. But what I love most about Abdi's work is that he is telling stories that feel desperately needed. An auto-buy author for me.” — Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six
"Equal parts courageous and contemplative, The Chandler Legacies is that rare novel that is more than the sum of its parts: a story of righting wrongs, of finding who we are meant to be, of learning to forgive. At its core, it reminds us that true friendship can illuminate the darkest corners of our lives. This story will haunt me in the best way." — Adib Khorram, Award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay
"A sharp, insightful examination of the power of language to shine a light on our darkest corners. The Chandler Legacies should be required reading." — Leah Johnson, author of You Should See Me In a Crown
"The Chandler Legacies is a heartfelt meditation on the abusive structures that need us to be both oppressed and oppressors, and the found families that help us break ourselves free.” — Laura Ruby, Printz Medal-winning author of Bone Gap
"Nazemian writes from the fascinating perspective of being both insider and outsider to elite boarding school culture, and the novel pops with startling, painful details of hazing rituals and abuses of power. His world is inclusive but also brutal, celebratory and still interrogatory. Readers will want to debate this one long into the night." — E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars