Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms
Publication Date: 05-08-2018
The razor-sharp but damaged Valerie Solanas, a doomed lesbian biker gang, recovering alcoholics, and teenagers barely surviving at an ice creamery: these are some of the larger-than-life,yet all-too-human figures, populating America’s fringes. Rife with never-ending fights and failures, theirs are the stories we too often try to forget. But in the process of excavating and documenting these lives, Michelle Tea also reveals herself in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.
Delivered with her signature honesty and dark humor, Tea blurs the line between telling other people’s stories and her own. She turns an investigative eye to the genre that’s nurtured her entire career—memoir—and considers the extent to which art preys on life.
“An entrancing collection of irreverent and flamboyant essays.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“From its opening sentence to its finish, Michelle Tea’s Against Memoir is a bracing, heaven-sent tonic for deeply troubled times. Its clarity, hilarity, range, nonchalant brilliance, and decades of experience in ‘art and music, love and queerness, writing and life’ remind me over and over again of the adventure, the party of it all—the joy of raucous thinking and loving and making—that’s fundamentally ours.” —Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
"The essays in Against Memoir remind us how pleasure, pain, wisdom, and delight come from the ground up, by and through the body, and in this case, a body unapologetically firing all her desires, pleasures, fears, and dreams like lightning. A hardcore delight, a queer blood song picking the scab off the skin of culture.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan
"These essays blow my mind with their algebraic rhythms by which Michelle Tea manages pain and bliss. They take turns erupting in a pulpy and marvelous parade: landscape, passion, morality, family, cigarettes—each cited frankly and exquisitely like a smart kid with a dirty crayon explaining to us all how she sees god." —Eileen Myles, author of Chelsea Girls
“I gobbled up these essays. Michelle Tea is riotously, wickedly funny, with an uncommon knack for naming the more hideous and complex parts of being human. Her particular genius makes the hardest truths and sorrows an irresistible joy to read.”—Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me