Fiction, on the other hand, is an attempt to reveal the truth by ignoring facts.
To paraphrase William Faulkner, I am much more interested in the truth than in the facts. I did learn to take religion seriously, and in much the same way that Miles does: Donald Rogan was an excellent teacher.
It took years before I was able to let go of the facts and focus on writing a true novel. In that vein, just how autobiographical is Looking for Alaska? I have always danced around this question, and I think I’m going to continue dancing around it now. In college, when I started to study religion, that was the question that interested me most. I think I probably prefer the study of religion to the practice of it, though. In high school, I had a classmate who attended a Southern Baptist church, and he was a nice guy, but he would always ask me questions about religion that I felt invaded my privacy.
Like Miles, I grew up in Florida and attended a boarding school in Alabama. So in some ways, that was the catalyst for the novel. From the very beginning, I wrote the book for high-school students. How did you come up with the book’s unusual structure? I’d been working on the book with very limited success for about 18 months before September 11, 2001. I stole lines from all three teachers, but particularly from Rogan. One time, he asked me, “How is your relationship with God, John?
“If he had killed me,” Ali said, “I would have gotten back up and won the fight.
I would have been the first dead heavyweight champion of the world.” I felt like that as a teenager. I still think people are invincible, but I’d rather not find out for sure. Because “booze and mischief” play significant parts in Looking for Alaska, the book has been challenged. It never even occurred to me that it might be a problem while I was writing it.
Introduction Nathan Katica September 16th, 2010 Period 4A Banned Book Project: Looking for Alaska Miles Halter lives a very boring life.
He is not depressed, but just lacks excitement in life.
It was obvious that there was some material in the book that might not be considered appropriate for teenagers.
As a result, teachers sent a letter home to parents providing them with the option of reading an alternate book.