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Green Girl Paperback – October 10, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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The book is by turns bildungsroman, sociological study, deconstruction, polemic, and live-streamed dialogue with Jean Rhys, Clarice Lispector, Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf, the Bible, Roland Barthes, and most of Western European modernism by way of Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project. --James Greer, Bookforum
"I can’t recall the last time I read a book whose heroine infuriated and seduced me as completely as Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl (Emergency Press). A modern-age Holly Golightly who bleeds Plath and Godard, Ruth drifts through the streets of London in an existential fog, besotted with pretty things and her best friend, at once empowered and emptied out by the desire of men. The skill with which Zambreno inhabits the emptiness of her all-too-recognizable, self-obsessed heroine, clinging to her persona as it turns to dust in her hands, is remarkable." - Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair
Zambreno's cruelty is only the world's, the world that has provided for girls like Ruth endless dead-end heroines, beauties who, if they do anything at all, mostly undo. - Lightsey Darst, Bookslut
It cracks, it zings. It makes you call your girlfriend and read sections aloud over the phone. --Jessa Crispin, Kirkus Reviews
The best word to describe Kate Zambreno's Green Girl is searing. - Roxane Gay
As an artist, Kate Zambreno is profoundly non-complacent, and this is the book for all of us ready to confront our own complacency. This is a vital book, a necessary book, a book I will long treasure. - Tim Jones-Yelvington, The Lit Pub
Ruth the green girl is a character I recognize from life -- the ingénue shopgirl and pixie libertine wandering a vast loveless city, hounded by the devouring gaze of a society that looks and looks but never sees the person beneath the pretty feminine surface. This is the story of that yet-to-be-formed person, a scene-by-scene treatment of the role she's been scripted to play. Kate Zambreno writes with the clear eyes and steady hand of a vérité filmmaker, beckoning her Ruth toward a self-redemption that hangs just out of reach, like the existential epigraphs haunting the upper margins of every chapter. What emerges is a book of feminist pre-awakening, of an author and a character in search of one another and themselves. --Pamela Lu
Zambreno's Ruth is literature's lost girl, the ambivalent offspring of Lispector's Macabea, Rhys' Sasha Jensen, and Plath's Esther Greenwood. A pretty, dazed American ingénue wandering the wet streets of London in search of the best little black dress, the perfect pink rouge, to make her complete. And what exactly makes Ruth so incomplete? It's the void behind her painted face, the hollow center that draws us into our green girl, our "question mark, a mystery even unto herself." For what Zambreno does ingeniously, ruthlessly, is implicate Ruth's impenetrable vacancy as our own. A harrowing, brilliant book. --Kate Durbin
Not since Faulkner first arrested my heart and stole my breath in The Sound and the Fury have I been as ravaged by the language of a novel as in Kate Zambreno's Green Girl. There is a poetics of desire shivering in the skin of every line. There is a momentous psychosexual arrival in her deformations of diction and syntax - as if language itself were intimate with the body of a girl. Read this book if you dare the wrath of signification: "She throws herself into the crowd . . . The ecstasy of commotion . . . and scream." --Lidia Yuknavitch
About the Author
Kate Zambreno is the author of the novels Green Girl (Harper Perennial) and O Fallen Angel (Harper Perennial). She is also the author of Heroines (Semiotext(e)'s Active Agents) and Book of Mutter (Semiotexte(e)'s Native Agents). She is at work on a series of texts about time, memory, and the persistence of art. A novel, Drifts, is forthcoming from Harper Perennial in Winter 2019.
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I picked this book up after reading a critique in the flawless "Bad Feminist", and I am beholden for the reference. It is wonderful witty book that achieves what so many fail attempting: it transports the older woman to her past. It has some sting, but it is a careful sting. I winced at times, but it was a good ache from remembered pain. This is a great book.
It got to me on time.
Ruth paints her pretty face,cuts her blonde hair short,obsesses for fashion in high end department stores, slips into a great depression, and wanders alone in the city streets at night hoping to be invisible.
She loves an ecstasy induced high cuddling with Agnes in their pig sty apartment and is always thinking about HIM...her ex lover.
Ruth doesn't know who she is or wants to be celebrating.This leaves you turning the pages and leaves you always wanting more. It's about coming of age, femininity, sex, drugs, changing jobs,religion,putting a mask on and freedom.