Tracy Flick is back and, once again, the iconic protagonist of Tom Perrotta’s Election—and Reese Witherspoon’s character from the classic movie adaptation—is determined to take high school politics by storm.
Tracy Flick is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Still ambitious but feeling a little stuck and underappreciated in midlife, Tracy gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal, Jack Weede, abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job.
Energized by the prospect of her long-overdue promotion, Tracy throws herself into her work with renewed zeal, determined to prove her worth to the students, faculty, and School Board, while also managing her personal life—a ten-year-old daughter, a needy doctor boyfriend, and a burgeoning meditation practice. But nothing ever comes easily to Tracy Flick, no matter how diligent or qualified she happens to be.
Among her many other responsibilities, Tracy is enlisted to serve on the Selection Committee for the brand-new Green Meadow High School Hall of Fame. Her male colleagues’ determination to honor Vito Falcone—a star quarterback of dubious character who had a brief, undistinguished career in the NFL—triggers bad memories for Tracy, and leads her to troubling reflections about the trajectory of her own life and the forces that have left her feeling thwarted and disappointed, unable to fulfill her true potential.
As she broods on the past, Tracy becomes aware of storm clouds brewing in the present. Is she really a shoo-in for the Principal job? Is the Superintendent plotting against her? Why is the School Board President’s wife trying so hard to be her friend? And why can’t she ever get what she deserves?
In classic Perrotta style, Tracy Flick Can’t Win is a sharp, darkly comic, and pitch-perfect reflection on our current moment. Flick fans and newcomers alike will love this compelling novel chronicling the second act of one of the most memorable characters of our time.
The heroine of Perrotta's Election returns in this sharp and perfectly executed story of frustrated ambition. Having failed to achieve her youthful career goals, Tracy Flick, now in her mid-40s, is an assistant principal at a New Jersey high school and single mother to 11-year-old Sophia. Though beaten down a little by life, Tracy still harbors ambition and remains determined to reach her goals, and she desperately wants to be voted her school's next principal. To that end, she attaches herself to a tech millionaire's dubious scheme to create a Hall of Fame for the school. The number one choice for its first inductee though not without controversy is former football hero Vito Falcone, who has also not lived up to the promise of his glory days. He is currently divorced, in AA, and possibly suffering from CTE. As the Hall of Fame selection committee's debate over who should receive the honor highlights class and race schisms in the high school, an unexpected act of violence alters the course of several lives. As ever, Perrotta writes incisively from several different points of view, illuminating the frustrated inner lives of his characters; call it Winesburg, N.J. Dominating it all is Tracy, whom the reader comes to understand better even through her cringeworthy machinations. This is the rare sequel that lives up to the original.