Chelsea Girls: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In Chelsea Girls, Eileen Myles draws on her childhood in 1950s and 60s Boston and her subsequent career as a poet in New York City. An autobiographical "poet's novel", it's written in a gripping, deceptively offhand style, with complex plot structure mimicking off-the-cuff storytelling. An exciting tale of artistic development during a particularly interesting time in NYC's cultural history, there are undisguised cameos from plenty of artistic luminaries during Myles' inspiringly ragged, decades-long path to becoming one of America's greatest living writers.


— From Chris's Picks


Available once again for a new generation of readers, the groundbreaking and candid coming-of-age novel in-real-time from one of America's most celebrated poets that is considered a cult classic.

In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms life into a work of art. Told in her audacious voice, made vivid and immediate in her lyrical language, Chelsea Girls cobbles together memories of Myles’ 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence, her unabashed “lesbianity,” and her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s New York.

Suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young artist’s life; and poignant with stories of love, humor, and discovery, Chelsea Girls is a funny, cool, and intimate account of a writer’s education, and a modern chronicle of how a young female writer shrugged off the chains of a rigid cultural identity meant to define her.

About the Author

Eileen Myles has published twenty books of poetry, art journalism, and fiction and libretti. She's a Guggenheim Fellow, has received the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America and a Lambda Award for lesbian fiction, and was named to the Whiting/Slate Second Novel List. She also received an arts writers grant from Creative Capital/ the Warhol Foundation and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant. She lives in Marfa, Texas, and New York.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062394668
ISBN-10: 0062394665
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English