Tell Me Who You Are


234 pages
ISBN 1-55022-231-7
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Jason Snart

Jason Snart teaches English at the University of Alberta.


R.G. Des Dixon is the author of Future Schools (1992), which proposes a
new, progressive model for schools. “Tell Me Who You Are” is Future
Schools in novel form. It tells the story of David Halper, who leaves
his law practice to become a high-school teacher. Halper reads Future
Schools and embraces its views as his own. A committed follower of the
Future Schools philosophy, Halper finds himself pitted against the
current school system, which understands nothing but orthodoxy and

We learn about Halper’s students through “stories” they submit.
Dixon tries to capture authentic “high-school” voices, but all the
student authors sound the same. His novel is replete with clichéd
writing (“Halper winces as though stabbed by shards of light”) and,
worse, blatant self-advertising through its constant references to
Future Schools. In fact, Future Schools is certainly a better choice
than “Tell Me Who You Are.”


Dixon, R.G. Des., “Tell Me Who You Are,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,