Growing Up Fast

Joanna Lipper

Picador

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Growing Up Fast tells the life stories of Shayla, Jessica, Amy, Colleen, Liz, and Sheri--six teen mothers whom Joanna Lipper first met in 1999 when they were enrolled at the Teen Parent Program in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Less than a decade older than these teen parents, she was able to blend into the fabric of their lives and make a short documentary film about them. Over the course of the next four years she continued to earn their trust as they shared with her the daily reality of their lives and their experiences growing up in the economically depressed post-industrial landscape of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

BILL AND DORIS WERE ADDICTED TO SKYDIVING. FALLING through space and time, their survival instincts kicked in. The adrenaline rush was pure and unparalleled. Parachutes snapping open, they surrendered to a blissful sensation of weightlessness, drinking in a bird's-eye view of the world, far above the burdens, frustrations, and disappointments that awaited them down on the ground back home, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

During the week, Doris drove a long yellow school bus. She had started this job when her two daughters were little, intending to move on to something

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Praise for Growing Up Fast

"In nearly 400 fast-paced pages of wonderfully evocative prose, much of it in the words of her six subjects, all teen mothers, Lipper has actually conveyed the social and personal history of a growing class of Americans for whom there is little help and less hope. But this class of people has inner lives, and this is what Lipper is so deft at communicating.... Give this book for Christmas. It will burden the conscience of its readers."
--Martin Peretz, The New Republic
"Readers looking for a slice of life in deindustrializing America will find much to admire about this book...The book should be mandatory reading in middle school, for as the young mothers themselves explain, had they know what they were getting into, they never would have walked this path."
--Katherine S. Newman, Washington Post

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About the Author

Joanna Lipper

JOANNA LIPPER lives in New York City, where she runs Ruby Slipper Productions. She had made two documentary films, Inside Out: Portraits of Children and Growing Up Fast. This is her first book.

Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper

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Available Formats and Book Details

Growing Up Fast
Joanna Lipper

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312422233
ISBN10: 0312422237
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 432 pages, Includes 34 black-and-white photographs throughout
$20.00
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Picador

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