OVERRIDE

Girlchild

A Novel

Tupelo Hassman

Picador

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
 
Rory Hendrix, the least likely of Girl Scouts, hasn’t got a troop or a badge to call her own. But she still borrows the Handbook from the elementary school library to pore over its advice, looking for tips to get off the Calle—the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop.

Rory’s been told she is one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom,” and she’s determined to break the cycle. As Rory struggles with her mother’s habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good, she finds refuge in books and language. From diary entries, social workers' reports, story problems, arrest records, family lore, and her grandmother’s letters, Tupelo Hassman's Girlchild crafts a devastating collage that shows us Rory's world while she searches for the way out of it.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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girlchild teethMama always hid her mouth when she laughed. Even when she spoke too gleefully, mouth stretched too wide by those happy muscles, teeth too visible. I can still recognize someone from my neighborhood by their teeth. Or lack of them. And whenever I do, I call these people family. I know immediately that I can trust them with my dog but not with the car keys and not to remember what time, exactly, they're coming back for their kids. I know if we get into a fight and Johnny shows up we'll agree that there has been "No problem, Officer, we'll keep it down." I know what they hide
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MEDIA

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  • Inside the World of "Girlchild"

    Tupelo Hassman introduces us to her young narrator Rory Hendrix and her Girl Scout troop of one.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Girlchild

“A voice as fresh as hers is so rare that at times I caught myself cheering. . . .I’d go anywhere with this writer.”---Susannah Meadows, The New York Times
 
“So fresh, original, and funny you’ll be in awe… Tupelo Hassman has created a character you’ll never forget. Rory Dawn Hendrix of the Calle has as precocious and endearing a voice as Holden Caulfield of Central Park.”---The Boston Globe
 
“A lyrical and fiercely accomplished first novel...In Hassman’s skilled hands, what could have been an unrelenting chronicle of desolation becomes a lovely tribute to the soaring, defiant spirit of a survivor.”---People
 
“Moments of strange beauty enhance our sense of the Calle community….[Hassman] makes Rory’s milieu feel universal.”---Megan Mayhew Bergman, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Powerful…Rory transcends her bleak situation through dark humor and unaccountable smarts.”---San Francisco Chronicle
 
“This amazing debut spills over with love, but is still absolutely unflinching and real.”---Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Tupelo Hassman

  • Tupelo Hassman graduated from Columbia’s MFA program. Her writing has been published in the Portland Review Literary Journal, Paper Street Press, Tantalum, We Still Like, and Zyzzyva, and by 100 Word Story, Five Chapters.com, and Invisible City Audio Tours.
  • Tupelo Hassman Bradford Earle
    Tupelo Hassman
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Available Formats and Book Details

Girlchild

A Novel

Tupelo Hassman

NPR Best Book of the Year, The Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults)
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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