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The Chelsea Whistleby Michelle Tea
Synopses & Reviews
In this gritty, confessional memoir, Michelle Tea takes the reader back to the city of her childhood: Chelsea, Massachusetts — a place where time and hope are spent on things not getting any worse. Tea's girlhood is shaped by the rough fabric of the neighborhood and by its characters — the soft vulnerability of her sister Madeline and her quietly brutal Polish father; the doddering, sometimes violent nuns of Our Lady of Assumption; Marisol Lewis from the projects by the creek; and Johnna Latrotta, the tough-as-nails Italian dance-school teacher who offered a slim chance for escape to every young Chelsea girl in tulle and tap shoes.
Told in Tea's trademark loose-tongued, lyrical style, this memoir both celebrates and annihilates one girl's tightrope walk out of a working-class slum and the lessons she carries with her. With wry humor and a hard-fought wisdom, Tea limns the extravagant peril of a dramatic adolescence with the private, catastrophic secret harbored within the walls of her family's home — a secret that threatens to destroy her family forever.
"The writing is well-honed...and the image of the 'Chelsea whistle' is poignant." Publishers Weekly
"Tea's biography is her attempt to explore the truth of her childhood, including incest. What makes it remarkable is her flair for description and her ability to recall vividly the indignities of her childhood. Tea has written a powerful and useful narrative for other incest survivors." Booklist
About the Author
Michelle Tea is the author of four memoirs, including the Lambda-award winning Valencia and the illustrated Rent Girl, which is currently being developed for television. Rose of No Man's Land is her first novel.
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