Author: Eileen Myles
Publisher: Ecco (2015)
In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms life into a work of art. Told in their audacious voice, made vivid and immediate in their lyrical language, Chelsea Girls cobbles together memories of Myles's 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, their volatile adolescence, their unabashed "lesbianity," and their 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 them.