Skip to main content

You Should Be Reading Michelle Tea

A while back, someone asked me to make a list of LGBT lit. "I...pretty much only read the "L" part of that," I answered. So it was amended to a list of lesbian lit. Regardless of whether or not you're gay, it's important to read its literature, the same way it's important to read other nations' or races' literatures. "Omg! Debatable comparison!" you say.

NAY. Because what they all have in common is a different experience and point of view. If a person is anything other than what YOU are, they have a different point of view. Your family has a different point of view than you, so imagine how a person who is STILL being called an abomination (but now only by select idiots) must see the world.

don't tell me that doesn't mean something

When making this list, I did research, because I haven't actually read most of the canon lesbian lit. And I kept seeing Valencia by Michelle Tea. So the next time I went to the library, I picked it up off the shelf. It starts with a girl drinking at a bar, trying to impress a girl she wants to have sex with. It struck me as seedy and potentially trashy and totally not my world, and I almost put it back, but I found that I really, really loved the writing, so I ended up checking it out. And completely loving it.

After Valencia, I decided to read all of Michelle Tea's books, so here's Rose of No Man's Land. It concerns a 14-year-old girl with a poor, mostly uncaring family, and almost all of the book takes place in one day -- like Star Wars. But UNlike Star Wars, it deals with what I'm going to term a stream of consciousness set of events, where instead of anything making sense, the main character (Trisha) and her new friend Rose (like the title!) wander from place to place and it's poetic and awesome and I really do love Tea's writing.

We looked up at the wide bowl of night, squinting for stars, but you can't see any above Route 1. We'd traded stars for the tall neon sculptures that advertise the restaurants. I say who cares. It's not like we can make the stars extinct. The stars are the last bit of nature we can't fuck up; we only fuck it up for ourselves, stacking lights on top of lights 'til we blot out the sky.

Even smaller scenes, like when Trisha's eating at a place called Clown in the Box:
I picked at the vegetable nuggets. I lifted a blobular crusty one from the paper boat and blew and blew until the oil shining on the stiff batter didn't look scalding. I popped it into my mouth and sucked in air to cool it off. 
Her writing's evocative and holds your attention and she needs to be read more. She's one of the few authors whose style itself -- as opposed to a particular plot choice -- makes me want to read all her books. I don't really care what the topic is -- I know I'm going to like it regardless. I guess Rose of No Man's Land could be classified as YA because it deals with a 14-year-old, but it doesn't feel like YA.  It's just really good. She has an actual YA book out now about mermaids. MERMAIDS ARE SO HOT RIGHT NOW.

So. Yes. Michelle Tea. WHEN HAVE I STEERED YOU WRONG WITH AN AUTHOR THAT WOULD BE NEVER.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Norwegian Wood: The Planning Post

You all remember this?


So, after some panicking on my part, and the over-taxed Chicago Public Library taking weeks and weeks to send my copy (it's been in transit for about three or four weeks now), I finally caved and bought it on Kindle (even though the Kindle price is more than the paperback -- COME ON PUBLISHERS).
Tuesdays worked well last time, because then you get to panic on Mondays and not Sundays that you haven't done the reading. Makes the weekend more relaxing. But if people want to do Wednesdays instead because of Top Ten Tuesday being such a big meme, let me know and I'll shift everything forward a day (except the 31st, because I REFUSE TO GO INTO JANUARY). Here's the schedule:
January 3rd: Intro posts. How do you feel about Murakami/have you read anything of his before/whatever you want to say; I am merely your faciliator.
January 10th: Chapters 1 through 4
January 17th: Chapters 5 & 6
January 24th: Chapters 7 through 9
January 31st: Chapters 10 & 11
If y…