The Revolution of Little Girls

Blanche McCrary Boyd, Author, Gary L. Fisketjon, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $19 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-40090-5
In this lively tale, novelist and essayist Boyd ( The Redneck Way of Knowledge ) probes a young girl's South Carolina upbringing during the '50s and '60s. Middle-aged Ellen Larraine, an eager soul with a hunger for self-destruction, displays a preoccupation with her past. As her lover Meg tells her, ""You haven't lived in South Carolina for 20 years, but it's always in your mind."" Intriguing characters--her fragile yet resilient Southern belle mother, a cruel but jovial uncle (who tries to hit the family dog whenever he backs out of the driveway), and a kind brother who rebels when their mother marries an authoritarian gynecologist--populate her story. Ellen's teenage taste for Coke mixed with a few drops of ammonia spirits leads to adult addictions to drugs and alcohol, just as her rebellious spirit prompts her frequently to change jobs, cities and careers--she even switches among various spiritual gurus. Ellen's voice is straightforward and her humor wry. While her search for some kind of peace is jaggedly entertaining, the vigorous narrative is disjointed, skewed on its journey through the filters of her mind and memory. Ellen's story is fascinating and spirited, but hard to grasp, and her experience becomes elusive. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 220 pages - 978-0-679-73812-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1867-2
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