Available once again for a new generation of readers, the groundbreaking and candid coming-of-age novel in-real-time from one of America's most celebrated poets that is considered a cult classic.
In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms life into a work of art. Told in her audacious voice, made vivid and immediate in her lyrical language, Chelsea Girls cobbles together memories of Myles’ 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence, her unabashed “lesbianity,” and her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s New York.
Suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young artist’s life; and poignant with stories of love, humor, and discovery, Chelsea Girls is a funny, cool, and intimate account of a writer’s education, and a modern chronicle of how a young female writer shrugged off the chains of a rigid cultural identity meant to define her.
New York writer Myles's ( Not Me ) autobiographical adventures recount her volatile '60s adolescence littered with vibrant memories of an alcoholic father and her awakening as a writer in the '70s. Myles revisits her risk-filled past because she wants desperately to be understood: ``It's lonely to be alive and never know the whole story. . .I would like to tell everything once, just my part, because this is my life, not yours.'' She views becoming a poet as a ``cultural accident'' and depicts her calling as she knows and loves it--a life filled with drink, drugs, sex, love, loneliness and poverty. Although her tales are highly personal, they are nonetheless rather indifferently told: Myles feels nothing because she doesn't know what to feel and consequently wanders through her life as though she were curious tourist. She erects walls between herself and her emotions that also leave the reader feeling cut off. But Myles is nothing if not honest, and her accounts of her life are so harsh that they stick with the reader as closely as they stick with her.
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They are such a great writer. Every story here is amazing and compulsively readable.