Part memoir, part social criticism and commentary, Melissa Febos’ Girlhood is not for the faint of heart, but it certainly is brilliant.
Febos works through gender norms in America by way of her own experience, and while the abuses and pains she suffered may not be universal, the way she was taught to behave and respond to those atrocities certainly is. She makes the point that women are taught to both fear and please men—a paradigm she subverted for a time as a dominatrix. She also explores the deeply personal and terrible shames we visit upon ourselves when we are the victims of abuse.
The most compelling essay, Intrusions, is also the one that was hardest for me to read. I have a personal connection to the kind of stalking she describes, and if you do too, I’d ask you to prepare yourself to read it. But definitely do read it. Even if you have no connection to the subject matter other than that you, like Febos, wake up human every day, there is a rich, complicated, and beautiful world within the pages of Girlhood.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||336 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|