As an uppity librarian, I harbor similar contempt towards my colleagues who only really read YA novels ( “Read a book written for someone who’s over 12!”) as I did as an uppity riot grrrl towards my peers who only really read books written by Sister Spit members. (“Couldn’t you at least read George Eliot?!”)
But honestly, there’s no resisting the YA novel written by a Sister Spit alum. And so I was delighted to see in an airport bookstore yesterday, between French Women Don’t Get Fat and The No Asshole Rule, Michelle Tea’s trade paperback YA novel, Rose of No Man’s Land. (Published by HBJ, with a blurb from People, seriously.) So delighted, that I bought it and read it in an hour. It’s timely and angry- in the first three pages, Michelle Tea riffs on sexual abuse, the war in Iraq, class consciousness, reality tv and cancer culture, all in perfect pitch girl prose. In a way, it’s her most inspiring work to date. Destined to become a classic of teen queer experimental narrative, it made me hopeful for YA in a whole new way, and wonder “where have I been”?