Wednesday, January 11, 2012
what it feels like for a girl
nearly two years ago- is that true?- kate zambreno emailed me her book green girl. i read it while visiting my parents, stretched out under the southern california sun while recuperating from a really heavy depressive period wherein i tried to kick anti-depressents (didn't work).
maybe you grew up, like me, reading a million different narratives about what it felt like to be angry and young and male (and usually white.) maybe, like me, you also read nancy drew and sweet valley high and anne of green gables, young women with nerve and pluck but also mostly young women whose problems were solved at the end of each book. and then as i got older, it was sylvia plath and carson mccullers and jean rhys and maya angelou, and and. i've never stopped being hungry for narratives where there is no neat package at the end. i want to imagine, at the end of these lives, that things keep being complicated and you keep working on them and you get smarter, and stronger, but probably there is always going to be a heaviness to contend with. sometimes that heaviness is tied inextricably to gender, sometimes not. but green girl entered the world as a novel who offers those things. is funny and strange and about the shopgirl trap (i, let it be known, have been a shopgirl for far too many years.) it's about empty fucking and crippling depression and fighting your way out of those things, or not, because all you can do is stare at your blank bedroom wall for three weeks. this is not exactly a review (please read kari larsen's review of green girl here) but it is me imploring you to read this book. and also vote for it over here, which will also count as a vote in the universe for all of us who are trying, and sometimes failing, but sometimes managing just fine.