Photo by Sammy Tunis

Photo by Sammy Tunis

"Alexander Tilney applies supple, panoramic prose to the deep interior of an exclusive Northeastern prep school, with arresting results: at once anthropological and visceral, The Expectations provides an authoritative glimpse into a rarefied world of privilege -- and announces a dazzling new voice in American fiction."—Jennifer Egan, bestselling author of Manhattan Beach

"Riveting. A deeply resonant, brilliantly nuanced meditation on privilege, social ambition. and the folly (and cruelty) of youth. It is also a terrific read -- funny, heartbreaking, and completely transporting from start to finish. A provocative and powerful debut."—Kate Walbert, author of His Favorites

"The Expectations is the story of how fraught and chaotic and exhilarating it is on the cusp of adulthood while living among the wealthy, and the cruel. Tender but not sentimental, this novel marks the debut of a genuine talent, one I hope to keep reading for a very long time."—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

“Tilney deftly limns the unchanging eponymous expectations: that students will graduate to the Ivy League and real-world leadership; that while at St. James they will uphold such dubious traditions as ferocious competitiveness in sports and brutal hazing of new students. But Tilney also nails the changing social climate of the mid-1990s...The Expectations paints a compassionate portrait of a confused young man groping for maturity...Smart, shrewdly observed, and highly readable."—Kirkus Reviews

“Rewarding... Tilney’s memorable boarding school novel hits the mark.”—Publisher’s Weekly

"[A] sensitive and perceptive debut."—Booklist⁠

"The Expectations portrays all the intrigue of adolescence -- sexual longing, competitive aspiration, and betrayal -- while illuminating the most poignant of growing-up realities: It's scary to figure out who you are, and even scarier when you have no idea. Tilney expertly evokes the human yearning to be recognized as Somebody, even when you fear you are nobody."—Katharine Dion, author of The Dependents

"Beautifully rendered, sharply observed, and intensely moving. Writing with uncommon acuity and generosity, Tilney pierces the heart of a boy, exposing it without betraying it. The Expectations is an unsentimental novel about adolescence, written for adults, to be read not so that we might remember our blundering younger selves but that we might forgive them. A gift of a novel."—Susan Rieger, author of The Heirs and The Divorce Papers

Alexander Tilney is a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony. His writing has appeared in The Southwest ReviewThe Journal of the Office for Creative Research, and Gelf Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, theater artist Sarah Hughes.