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The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures
     

The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures

4.6 5
by Phoebe Gloeckner
 

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"I don't remember being born. I was a very ugly child. My appearance has not improved so I guess it was a lucky break when he was attracted by my youthfulness." So begins the wrenching diary of Minnie Goetze, a fifteen-year-old girl longing for love and acceptance and struggling with her own precocious sexuality. Minnie hates school and she wants to be an

Overview

"I don't remember being born. I was a very ugly child. My appearance has not improved so I guess it was a lucky break when he was attracted by my youthfulness." So begins the wrenching diary of Minnie Goetze, a fifteen-year-old girl longing for love and acceptance and struggling with her own precocious sexuality. Minnie hates school and she wants to be an artist, or maybe a speleologist, or a bartender. She sleeps with her mother's boyfriend, and yet is too shy to talk with boys at school. She forges her way through adolescence, unsupervised and unguided, defenseless, and yet fearless.

The story unfolds in the libertine atmosphere of the 1970s San Francisco, but the significance of Minnie's effort to understand herself and her world is universal. This is the story of an adolescent troubled by the discontinuity between what she thinks and feels and what she observes in those around her. The Diary of a Teenage Girl offers a searing comment on adult society as seen though the eyes of a young woman on the verge of joining it.

In this unusual novel, artist and writer Phoebe Gloeckner presents a pivotal year in a girl's life, recounted in diary pages and illustrations, with full narrative sequences in comics form.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Minnie is one of the most believable teenage protagonists ever written, a complicated, contradictory child posing as a woman. Her 'Diary' is a page-turner of a very high order and a tour de force of emotional intensity and damage."
The San Francisco Chronicle

"It's the most honest depiction of sexuality in a long, long time; as a meditation on adolescence, it picks up a literary ball that's been only fitfully carried after Salinger."
—Nerve.com

"A pitch-perfect, hauntingly beautiful, deeply empathic conjuring of female adolescence."
Bust Magazine

Publishers Weekly
Gloeckner's latest, a combination of comics and prose, follows the sexual misadventures and coming-of-age of Minnie Goetze, a troubled teenager very much reminiscent of Gloeckner, as she stumbles toward adulthood in 1970s San Francisco. Minnie's diary details the loss of her virginity to Monroe, her mother's less than devoted boyfriend. She falls in love with him, though he continues to sleep with Minnie's self-absorbed, drunken mother. A hellish adolescence follows: Minnie's kicked out of various schools, has promiscuous sex and ends up on the streets, strung out and obsessed with a young lesbian who pimps her out for more drugs. Gloeckner mined these same experiences in her award-winning graphic novel A Child's Life. In this work, though, Minnie's story is told through a combination of prose, illustrations and comics, capturing the confused inner dialogue of a precocious, attention-starved girl with a talent for drawing. This is both the book's strength and its weakness. Unlike the highly distilled emotions of A Child's Life, the prose descriptions of Minnie's experiences are engaging but formless, bleeding onto the page. The crisp details of Gloeckner's b&w drawings help by grounding the stories in a convincing realism, but they're obviously the product of an older, more judgmental, but also more reflective, self. More affecting are the casual teenage doodlings and comics that Gloeckner includes periodically throughout the book. Though not related directly to the story, they seem a more honest depiction of the necessary but casual self-reflection that a diary can help keep alive. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Fifteen-year-old Minnie Goetze's life is ugly. As the book opens, she asks her mother's 35-year-old boyfriend to have sex with her and he complies. She has many horrible things happen to her, including rape, some of which are the result of her own poor choices. Despite what should have been a privileged family life, there are no healthy or affectionate adults in her life. This story is brutal and raw but Minnie, for all of her teen angst, self-absorption, and self-degradation, shines on every page. Despite the fact that everyone in her young life has used, abused, or abandoned her, Minnie is a valiant and formidable character. She may feel lonely and unloved, but she is never completely lost. Her call to a suicide hot line late in the book is ironic because it gets her the best advice: she has a free will and she doesn't have to become like the dysfunctional people around her. The novel is a mix of primarily diary entries, with occasional illustrations and short "scenes" in graphic-novel format. In the dedication, the author writes that the book is "for all the girls when they have grown," and that is the best criterion for determining the book's readership. Some of the illustrations are sexually explicit and the subject matter and language are definitely for mature readers. Minnie's story of abuse and neglect is one that is rarely told, and rarer still, told so well.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583940631
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books
Publication date:
11/22/2002
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.49(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
16 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Phoebe Gloeckner was born in Philadelphia and raised in San Francisco. Her comics first appeared in underground publications when she was in her teens. A critically acclaimed collection of her comics, paintings, and etchings, A Child's Life and Other Stories, was published in 1998. In addition to paintings and comics, she has made award-winning short films.

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Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mother bought this for me without -- I'm sure -- ever glancing inside it. This book is a story about an absolutely ordinary teenage girl who experiments with drugs, sex, and life in general. Never once in this book did I ever dislike Minnie -- in fact, I found so much of myself in her that it was eerie. I read this book in one day without pausing. Filled with wonderful comics and a wonderful story, it's a great read. I recommend it to people between the ages of 13 and 17.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very sexy, bold, true, and something that nobody else would have the guts to write about. This book had a few good laughs and shocks. I've never read a book like it. It's more explicit than most teenage books you read today. The comic strips are very good. Gloeckner is a great artist! I'm glad Poebe Glockner wrote this book, other wise I would be bored out of my mind. This book is basically about a girl named Minnie trying to fit in with everyone, but she can't seem to and while she's trying to fit in she's looking for love. Minnie hits a lot of rough spots but everything turns out very surprising.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book, thinking, Oh, GOD, to be in high school again. She really cuts to the chase, and although a little too strangely sexual, it was really good read and I personally finished the book in one afternoon because I just couldn't put it down. I read it and was stunned at how silly, stupid and amazing 15-year-old girls really are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
its a very good book. i couldent put it down. i would recomend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Diary of a Teenage Girl is the brst book I've read in a long, long time. It is inspiring and realistic. I loved this book and I would recommend it to ANYONE - especiall those who love art (and Frisco)