Trope, Zoe 1986- [A pseudonym]

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Trope, Zoe 1986- [A pseudonym]


Born July 25, 1986, in Portland, OR. Education: Oberlin College, student. Hobbies and other interests: Knitting, cooking, photography, eating sushi.


E-mail—[email protected].




Please Don't Kill the Freshman (memoir), Harper-Tempest (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to anthologies and to periodicals, including the Oregonian, Curve, New Moon, Nerd, and Things That Are True.


"Zoe Trope" is the pseudonym of an Oregon-based writer who celebrated graduating from high school by selling her memoirs to a major publisher for a six-figure sum. Trope began making diary entries as part of an after-school writing class in eighth grade. Her ability so impressed author and publisher Kevin Sampsell, who was teaching her extracurricular writing class, that he not only encouraged her to continue but also critiqued her entries as they came from her pen. Eventually Sampsell helped her to publish some of the work in a chapbook, and this chapbook drew the attention of Joseph Weisberg (author of 10th Grade), who sent it to his agent, David McCormick. Trope added more content to the memoir, and in 2003, HarperTempest published Please Don't Kill the Freshman, Trope's quirky reflections on high school life, her budding lesbian eroticism, and her decision to live comfortably within her own unconventional skin. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that Trope had done a good job of revealing her "complicated emerging identity as a bright, talented and driven teen who doesn't fit into society's mold."

Trope writes in raw, unrestrained language about sex, insecurities, and her friends and transgendered love, Scully or Skull, "her first girlfriend turned first boyfriend," continued the Publishers Weekly reviewer. She bemoans the apathy that blocks change and writes of her search for the truth in life, love, and art. When asked her opinion of high school by Ryan Robert Mullen in an interview for Word Riot online, she replied: "High school is a very false environment. While the time spent there is very brief, it can be very intense and very damaging. In larger high schools, like mine, I find that students feel easily defeated. Their time is spent putting endless effort into futile things. I don't think I can really answer this question without incriminating myself. I don't know enough about the real world to tell you all the differences and similarities. I am hoping that once I graduate from high school, I will have the time to do things that I love." School Library Journal contributor Jeffrey Hastings called Please Don't Kill the Freshman "an important offering for exceptional, alienated readers—the talented … tortured misfits who need to know that they are not alone."

In a review for Bookslut online, Liz Miller wrote that "as Zoe seeks to align the various parts of her life—confused fifteen-year-old, bisexual in love, published author, SUCCESSFUL published author—the odd mix of maturity and childishness that personifies adolescence is brought into sharp focus. She doesn't find answers, in the end, but no one has the answers at age fifteen." After Trope graduated high school, she enrolled at Oberlin College to study art history. She continues to maintain her anonymity.



Trope, Zoe, Please Don't Kill the Freshman, Harper-Tempest (New York, NY), 2003.


Publishers Weekly, December 8, 2003, review of Please Don't Kill the Freshman, p. 63.

School Library Journal, October, 2003, Jeffrey Hastings, review of Please Don't Kill the Freshman, p. 206.


Bookslut, (January 10, 2007), Liz Miller, review of Please Don't Kill the Freshman.

Powell's Books, (January 10, 2007), Dave Weich, interview., (October 27, 2003), Whitney Joiner, "My Pseu-Called Life," interview., (January 15, 2004), Kate Pavao, interview.

Young Adult Writers, (January 10, 2007), biography.

Word Riot, (January 10, 2007), Ryan Robert Mullen, interview.

Zoe Trope Home Page, (January 10, 2007).