Synopses & Reviews
"Rose of No Mans Land
is both a riotously funny coming-of-age story and a poignant cautionary tale that smacks of there but for the grace of God heartbreak . . . Tea manages to balance Trishas snarky edge with moments of a sweetly sad, naive vulnerability that beautifully capture those mercurial midteen years."The Boston Globe
Fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll is a gender-blurring, self-described loner whose family expects nothing of her. While her mother lies on the couch in a hypochondriac haze and her sister aspires to be on The Real World, Trisha struggles to find her own place among the neon signs, theme restaurants, and cookie-cutter chain stores of her hometown.
"Think Ghost World meets Catcher in the Rye with a little crank thrown in to keep it chugging along. We suggest you put it at the top of your list."Daily Candy
"A literary Molotov cocktail that is equal parts My So-Called Life, Thelma & Louise, and Twin Peaks . . . Tea takes the reader on a harrowing journey that highlights how truly terrifying and exhilarating it is to be a teenager."BUST Magazine
"A riotous coming-of-age novel
do[es] for working-class teenage lesbians what S. E. Hintons Rumble Fish and The Outsiders did for greasers and street-brawling tough guys."The New York Times Book Review
"What a miracle of a book."--BookForum
Michelle Tea lives in San Francisco, where she is beloved for her writing, her spoken word poetry, and her innovative arts organization that brought the world Sister Spit. Her published books include Rent Girl, The Chelsea Whistle, and Valencia.
"Tea follows up her Lambda Award winning San Francisco prostitution memoir, Valencia (2000), her sporadically transcendent collected poems, The Beautiful (2003), and last year's graphic novel, Rent Girl (now in development for TV), with this inspired queer bildungsroman. In Trisha Driscoll, Tea has developed an unreliable narrator who stands on her own. Trisha is a doughy, alcoholic 10th-grade denizen of Mogsfield, Mass., a fictional white trash nowhere. Her father is long gone; her mother, owing to psychosomatic back problems, does not leave the couch; her mother's boyfriend, Donnie, enters the kitchen only to make ramen; her younger sister, Kristy, is obsessed with launching herself onto reality TV and constantly films the family dysfunctioning around her. The first half of the novel establishes Trisha's grim bedroom-to-mall despair. In the second, a new friend, Rose, a fry cook who looks 12 appears, and the two go on a crystal meth fueled adventure with blissful highs and crashing lows. Tea is brilliant in making the stakes for Trisha abundantly clear as she discovers sex (and, concurrently, her sexuality), drugs and the emotional gains and losses attendant to each. Add in minor characters like the never-seen but oft-discussed Kim Porciatti and various dumb guys in cars, and you have a postmillennial, class-adjusted My So-Called Life." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Rose is balls-out from the start....Tea's writing is raw, funny, and tragic, but never forced. Her memoirist's eye yields fiction that reads true. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"A riotous coming-of-age novel about a misanthropic girl's sexual self-discovery...Tea is trying to do for working-class teenage lesbians what S. E. Hinton's Rumble Fish and The Outsiders did for greasers and street-brawling tough guys in the 1970s and '80s: to let them be heard and felt." Lenora Todaro, The New York Times Book Review
"[B]oth a riotously funny coming-of-age story and a poignant cautionary tale that smacks of 'there but for the grace of God' heartbreak....What gives Rose of No Man's Land its power and resonance is that it is fueled by both anger and yearning." The Boston Globe
"Gritty, animated, original, and disturbing, this allegorical tale of friendship and belonging is hard to put down. Recommended." Library Journal
"Although Trisha's initial musings on life are tediously mundane, as soon as Rose enters the picture, the novel takes off in a blur of speedy bliss. The novel shines with a kind of beatnik deference to drugs and lust and dangerous youth." Kirkus Reviews
"[C]ompellingly honest and told with a voice so pure that it would be ignominious to overlook it....This focused and authentic narrative voice is what makes Rose of No Man's Land such a sincere achievement..." San Francisco Chronicle
"Too much is predictable and too many characters are overly familiar. Nevertheless, flashes of brilliant writing and some scenes worthy of David Lynch remind readers of Tea's very considerable talent to shock and amuse." Booklist
"Rose's persona can seem over-the-top....But she nevertheless is convincing as one of those intense, powerfully magnetic people who can readily suck the more passive Trish into her powerful and potentially damaging orbit." BookReporter.com
"[I]mpossible to put down....Trisha is a raucous observer of everything from mall culture minutiae to her sister's reality TV dreams. Nothing gets by her." People Magazine
PRAISE FOR ROSE OF NO MANS LAND
"Rose [of No Mans Land] is balls-out from the start . . . Not for the faint of heart, Teas writing is raw, funny, and tragic, but never forced. A-."Entertainment Weekly (Editors Choice)
"It made me entirely happy to be alive . . . This book is deliriously true. To its author I say: You brought the female inside out. Its such an incredible act. It feels like a first time . . . What a miracle of a book."BookForum
After being hired and abruptly fired from the most popular shop at Square One Mall in Mogsfield, Massachusetts, fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll finds herself linked up with a chain-smoking, physically stunted mall rat named Rose, in a love story between two weirdo girls who soulfully explore the emptiness of contemporary culture. Reprint. 44,000 first printing.
Fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll is a gender-blurring, self-described loner whose family expects nothing of her. While her mother lies on the couch in a hypochondriac haze and her sister aspires to be on The Real World
, Trisha struggles to find her own place among the neon signs, theme restaurants, and cookie-cutter chain stores of her hometown.
After being hired and abruptly fired from the most popular clothing shop at the local mall, Trisha befriends a chain-smoking misfit named Rose, and her life shifts into manic overdrive. A "postmillennial, class-adjusted My So-Called Life" (Publishers Weekly), Rose of No Man's Land is brimming with snarky observations and soulful musings on contemporary teenage America.
A whirlwind exploration of poverty and dropouts, Rose of No Man's Land is the world according to Trisha a furious love story between two weirdo girls, brimming with snarky observations and soulful wonderings on the dazzle-flash emptiness of contemporary culture.
About the Author
Michelle Tea is the author of Valencia, The Chelsea Whistle, and Rent Girl. She lives in San Francisco.