Girlhood

By Melissa Febos,

Book cover of Girlhood

Book description

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
National Bestseller
Lambda Literary Award Finalist

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME * NPR * The Washington Post * Kirkus Reviews * Washington Independent Review of Books * The Millions * Electric Literature * Ms Magazine * Entropy Magazine…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Girlhood as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Girlhood was published while I was in edits and though I bought the book, I couldn’t risk reading it. The subject matter was too close to my own. What if I wanted to add or (gasp) rewrite? I’m glad I waited. Febos’ stunning essays perfectly encapsulate the confusion of adolescent girlhood, the mixed messages—from adults, from our own bodies—and the traps that lay in wait.My favorite, “The Mirror Test,” contains lines that crackle such as: “Before it carried any sexual connotation, the word slut was a term for a slovenly woman… A slut was a careless girl, hands sunk…

From Katherine's list on the complexity of American girlhood.

Our culture treats girlhood as a time when young females are frivolous, catty, and obsessed with selfies. Not Febos. She takes seriously the formation of self that happens in girlhood as sexuality, cultural messages, desire, ambition, and abuse press on our bodies and psyches. Her exploration of her own girlhood helped me look back at my own and respect my scrappy self.

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