Green Girl

Green Girl

3.1 6
by Kate Zambreno
     
 

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Green Girl is The Bell Jar for today—an existential novel about Ruth, a young American in London, kin to Jean Seberg gamines and contemporary celebutantes. Ruth works a string of meaningless jobs: perfume spritzer at a department store she calls Horrids, clothes-folder, and a shopgirl at a sex shop. Ruth is looked at

Overview


Green Girl is The Bell Jar for today—an existential novel about Ruth, a young American in London, kin to Jean Seberg gamines and contemporary celebutantes. Ruth works a string of meaningless jobs: perfume spritzer at a department store she calls Horrids, clothes-folder, and a shopgirl at a sex shop. Ruth is looked at constantly—something she craves and abhors. She is followed by a mysterious narrator, the voice equally violent and maternal. Ruth and her toxic friend, Agnes, are obsessed with cosmetics and fashion and film, with boys, with themselves, and with each other. Green Girl is about that important and frightening and exhilarating period of being adrift and screwing up, a time when drunken hook-ups and infatuations, nervous breakdowns, and ecstatic epiphanies are the order of the day.

Editorial Reviews

James Greer
The book is by turns bildungsroman, sociological study, deconstruction, polemic, and live-streamed dialogue with Jean Rhys, Clarice Lispector, Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf, the Bible, Roland Barthes, and most of Western European modernism by way of Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project. Green Girl is ambitious in a way few works of fiction are, and it's certainly more ambitious than the kind of fiction Zambreno is taking on: the single-girl-seeking-not-sure-what-exactly novel that has been pigeonholed as "chick lit" at least since Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, which Green Girl draws from (its cosmopolitan London setting) and pitches against (its implied self-definition through romance).
Bookforum
Blake Butler
Zambreno's wickedly compassionate lenses seems to be not only a kind of wonderful novel of self-exploration and awakening, but a much needed tap on the face to remember where we are and how what comes out of us both is of us and mirrored off of those we touch.
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Jennifer Brough
A deeply poetic, linguistically playful novel exploring the consciousness and questions of self experienced by Ruth, the unstable heroine that many will identify with, perhaps too easily. Zambreno's second novel is richly inundated with cultural references that assemble a troubling jigsaw of a young woman's battle between the simultaneous need to be observed, and to be invisible. This painfully compulsive read of a beautiful soul's struggle for survival against the London masses on the Tube, streets, and department stores leaves the reader longing for Ruth's resolution. Yet she remains an enigma, caught between wanting to live, and to abandon her own life.
WhatsOn (UK)
Lightsey Darst
Zambreno's cruelty is only the world's, the world that has provided for girls like Ruth endless dead-end heroines, beauties who, if they do anything at all, mostly undo.
Bookslut
Richard Thomas
There have been comparisons to Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and I think that is a good place to start, but somewhere in here there is also the violence and danger of the misanthropic American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, and the work of Mary Gaitskill.
The Nervous Breakdown

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983022633
Publisher:
Emergency Press
Publication date:
10/10/2011
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Kate Zambreno is the author of the novel O Fallen Angel (Chiasmus Press). Her blog, Frances Farmer Is My Sister, has partially inspired a book of literary essays to be published by Semiotext(e)'s Active Agents Series in spring, 2012. She is the prose editor at Nightboat Books, and a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative.

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Green Girl 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Scott_Kennedy More than 1 year ago
A devasting prose-poem on the lack of identity that can infect one's early 20s. I loved it. Worth reading for the narrative voice alone. Also, I should mention that I had no intention of actually reading this book when I did. But glancing at the first few pages sucked me right in and then I couldn't stop. This is not a book to read for plot; it has little. But it captures and evokes an experience perfectly. As a reader in my 40s, this is a book to savor, remembering what it was like to be so unformed, and to make me damned glad I'm not 20 anymore. I could go on about other terrific qualitities of the book and the way it reflects our current society, etc., but really, you'd be better off reading it yourself (it's short) and forming your own opinion. Highly recommended. If I had to make a trite movie pitch for the book, I'd say think of it as Bridget Jones's Diary for pessimists or Catcher in the Rye for the Jersey Shore generation, a story wherein our heroine is inarticulate and essentially vapid, but entrancing, troubling and moving nonetheless.
Matilda-was-taken More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written. Unapologetic female characters. The sinking lost years. The woman on display. The woman inside. Proof you don't need to love a character or her choices to enjoy a good book. If you seek something different. New.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of the blurb constant comparing to unread authors when the review is so confused what can we expect? Waste more time on a smple have never read the author and disliked the bell jar twenty years ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When it revuews as a mish mosh and that is correct spelling not mash sample or borrow saves time and archive