If all American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn
, all American surf culture comes from Gidget
, the ostensible diary of Kathy Kohner, a teensy, gutsy teenage girl who crashed the all-male scene at Malibu Beach north of L.A. in 1957 and earned, from Moondoggie and others, the nickname Gidget, which meant "Girl Midget." Her father, the German immigrant screenwriter Frederick Kohner, fascinated by the beach-shack counterculture, interviewed his perky daughter at length, eavesdropped with permission on her phone calls, fictionalized her adventures, and batted out this influential bestseller. He nailed a tiny subculture's new form of speech ("If you want to know what goes on in Loveville ... Dig Number One: being gone on a boy is more important than having a boy gone on you.") and made it a pop-culture staple. Newly reissued with the real Gidget's picture on the cover (as on the original hardback), the book is very slim (appropriately enough) and historically beguiling. You'll like her--you'll really like her! --Tim Appelo
From Publishers Weekly
"I'm not quite five feet but if it hadn't been for that year-round swimming I'd have probably stayed a dwarf," writes the teenage surfer chick in the upcoming reissue of Gidget by Frederick Kohner. The kitschy, American pop culture classic was written in 1957, hit Hollywood in 1959 and returns for summer 2001, brimming with tales of guys, waves, hopes and dreams. Kohner based the novel on the life of his then 16-year-old daughter, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, the charming young thing who penetrated what was previously a male-dominated sport with gusto. She writes a foreword for this version, which has a splashy cover that will appeal to teens and older fans alike.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.