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Biography Drama Essay Journal/Diary Nonfiction

Chelsea Girls

By Eileen Myles , 1994

This series of 28 autobiographical tales reflects the various stages of the author’s life. The early stories depict the pain and poignancy of a young girl’s adolescence in the 1960s. Growing up in a Catholic family in Boston, the narrator witnesses the death of her alcoholic father. The later stories take place in New York during the 1970s as the narrator struggles to write poetry and assert her sexuality. Some readers will find this collection off-putting. The writing is often stream-of-consciousness, sometimes with grating grammatical mistakes. Because the tales skip back and forth in time, not much continuity is established. In addition, graphic lesbian sex and a focus on alcohol and drugs pervade most of the stories. For large fiction collections or gay literature collections only.

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