Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their LivesToday

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Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101213810
  • 288 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


A vivid portrait of what it means to be a teenage girl in America today, from 58 of the country’s finest, most credentialed writers on the subject

If you’re a teenage girl today, you live your life in words-in text and instant messages, on blogs and social network pages. It’s how you conduct your friendships and present yourself to the world. Every day, you’re creating a formidable body of personal written work.

This generation’s unprecedented comfort level with the written word has led to a fearless new American literature. These collected essays, at last, offer a key to understanding the inscrutable teenage girl-one of the most mislabeled and underestimated members of society, argues editor and writer Amy Goldwasser, whose work has appeared in Seventeen, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. And while psychologists and other experts have tried to explain the teen girl in recent years, no book since Ophelia Speaks has given her the opportunity to speak for herself-until now.

In this eye-opening collection, nearly sixty teenage girls from across the country speak out, writing about everything from post-Katrina New Orleans to Johnny Depp; from learning to rock climb to starting a rock band; from the loneliness of losing a best friend to the loathing or pride they feel about their bodies. Ranging in age from 13 to 19, and hailing from Park Avenue to rural Nevada, Georgia to Hawaii, the girls in RED-whose essays were selected from more than 800 contributions-represent a diverse spectrum of socioeconomic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds, creating a rich portrait of life as a teen girl in America today.

Revealing the complicated inner lives, humor, hopes, struggles, thrills, and obsessions of this generation, RED ultimately provides today’s teen girl with much-needed community, perspective, and validation-and helps the rest of us to better understand her.

Table of Contents

Red Teenage GirlsAmy Goldwasser Introduction

The Body and Various Thoughts on Beauty

Amy Hunt Sleeves
Alison Smith Curve
Jane Horowitz The Jewish Hair
Tiffani Hortman Muscle
Emily Kaplan Ode to My Breasts
Caro Fink Lucky
Charlotte Steinway The Weather Report
Meike Schleiff The “Beautiful” Cause of Death That Had Me Dying for a While

People You Have to Live with and Other Family

Alicia Davis Country
Claudia Berger The News
Hannah Morris The Two of Us
Sarah Morris To See How They Look on Me, on You
Emma Considine Bloody Red Heart
Jordyn Turney Mascara Wands Are Instruments of War
Zulay Regalado Pots nd Pans
Annie Littlewood TLC: Three Days
Maxine Keyes Ghost Stories

What Can Be Learned at School

Emily Knox The Best Kind of Popular
Laura Lowe A Retelling of the Black-Letter Days, The Red-Letter Days, and the Fine Line That Ties Them Together
Elizabeth Case Hey You, Freshman with the Face!
Sara Harari Life Goes up a Wall
Carey Dunne Gym at Riverton
Lisa Chau Stuck in Traffic
Deborah Kim Packing

Friendships: Gone Well, Gone Poorly, Just Gone

Sarah McIntosh Lies We Have Told
Sarah Harrison Tampoons
Rebecca Murray Big Shoes
Elizabeth Metzger An Orchid, If That Is What It Is

Crushes Sweet and Excruciating, Sex, and a Love That Ends in Desert Rehab

Jocelyn Pearce The Match
Jasmine Sennhauser Decent Guy on the Planet
Eliza Appleton Cribs
Hayley Hoover The Sun’s Shining Hotter
Jessica Goodman Boy One
Samantha Lewin Finding Myself in Utah

Anytyhing Extracurricular: The Beach, the Horse, the Bee, the Lousy First Job, the Stellar Future Career, etc.

Kirsten Oldroyd Mini Mountain
Kelly Otterness Lately
Erika Kwee East
Lucy Bennett The Hamptons
Jaclyn Humphrey Pediatrics
Anna Saxon The Management
Samantha Gillogly Apiarian Days
Lindsay Erin Sellers Alone

Media, Pop Culture, Johnny Depp, Freakdom, and Fandom

Sarah Schelde What Truthiness Taught Me About Being (Un)Cool
Kali Moriarty Appeal from an Angry Not So Emo
Grace Habegger The Depth of Depp
Olive Panter Play
Saskia Boggs Just Watch

The World and What’s Wrong (Sometimes Even What’s Right) with It: Battle Cries

Dani Cox Ms. President
Cammi Henao Once in a While
Aarian Marshall Burning in Heaven
Zoe Mendelson Places of Worship
Danielle Norman Repeat
Cindy Morand The Border
Kathleen Hicks Bodies of Water
Maya-Catherine Popa The Dial Life—and Him
Emily-Nicole Johns New City
Carla Perez-Gallardo To Do