• Girlhood

    by Melissa Febos
    Price $27.00
    Hardcover
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    Girlhood
April 6, 2021

Melissa Febos

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes MELISSA FEBOS—author of the acclaimed memoirs Whip Smart and Abandon Me—for a discussion of her latest, highly anticipated book, Girlhood. She will be joined in conversation by ZZ PACKER, author of the beloved story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere.

Details

In her powerful new book, critically acclaimed author Melissa Febos examines the narratives women are told about what it means to be female and what it takes to free oneself from them.

When her body began to change at eleven years old, Febos understood immediately that her meaning to other people had changed with it. By her teens, she defined herself based on these perceptions and by the romantic relationships she threw herself into headlong. Over time, Febos increasingly questioned the stories she'd been told about herself and the habits and defenses she'd developed over years of trying to meet others' expectations. The values she and so many other women had learned in girlhood did not prioritize their personal safety, happiness, or freedom, and she set out to reframe those values and beliefs.

Blending investigative reporting, memoir, and scholarship, Febos charts how she and others like her have reimagined relationships and made room for the anger, grief, power, and pleasure women have long been taught to deny.

Written with Febos' characteristic precision, lyricism, and insight, Girlhood is a philosophical treatise, an anthem for women, and a searing study of the transitions into and away from girlhood, toward a chosen self.

About Author(s)

Melissa Febos is the author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me, a Lambda Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist. Her essays have appeared in Tin HouseThe Believer, the New York Times, and elsewhere. Febos is the inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction from Lambda Literary and the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The BAU Institute, The Barbara Deming Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and others. She is an associate professor at The University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.

ZZ Packer is a graduate of Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University whose interests include creative writing, post-classical narrative theory, and political philosophy. Her collection of short stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, was a New York Times Notable Book, winner of a Commonwealth Club Fiction Award and an Alex Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist.