OVERRIDE

Girls on the Verge

Debutante Dips, Drive-bys, and Other Initiations

Vendela Vida

St. Martin's Press

In a fascinating look at how young women are coming of age in America, Vendela Vida explores a variety of rituals that girls have adapted or created in order to leave their childhoods behind. Vida doesn't just observe the rituals, she actively participates in them, going as far as spending a week at UCLA to experience rush--she emerges a Tri-Delt. She also goes to Miami to learn about the "quince" (the Latin American celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday), to Houston to take part in a debutante ball, to Los Angeles and San Francisco to talk to female gang members, to Salem, Massachusetts, to interview a coven of witches, and to Las Vegas to watch young brides take the plunge--some of them in drive-through wedding chapels. With humor, insight, and illuminating detail, she explores girls' struggles to forge an identity and secure a sense of belonging through various rituals--rituals that they embrace without necessarily understanding the comforts they seek or the repercussions of their often all-too-adult choices.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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 PART ONEFamily ApprovedCHAPTER ONERush: Sorority Sisters It’s the first day of sorority rush at UCLA and things are going smoothly. I’m in a sorority house chatting with a group of sisters when my fellow rushees and I are herded into the sorority’s back room for a slide show. The back room has a ceiling full of brightly colored helium balloons, their ribbons curling like fusilli pasta, and more sorority sisters for us rushees to meet, among them a most unwelcome surprise: Nancy.Now evidently a sorority sister, Nancy is a girl my little sister grew up with and I recognize
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REVIEWS

Praise for Girls on the Verge

"Vida has written a thoroughly enjoyable book . . . well-reported and entertaining."—Kirkus Reviews

"Vida is a good writer, and clearly feels an affinity . . . with her subjects—Seattle Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Vendela Vida

  • Vendela Vida graduated from Middlebury College and received her MFA at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Jane, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn. This is her first book.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Girls on the Verge

Debutante Dips, Drive-bys, and Other Initiations

Vendela Vida

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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