Girls Write Now CHAPTERS Reading Series
CHAPTERS is where our girls’ work goes from page to stage, and these talented young writers perform their best work. Each reading opens with a keynote speech from an inspiring writer who embodies the principles we instill in our girls: dedication to craft, determination to tell a story with honesty and brilliance, and a passion to live fearlessly.
April’s keynote speaker is Emma Cline, author of The Girls.
Emma Cline was the winner of The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize in 2014. She is from California.
The Girls is the story of Evie, a woman who is haunted by the summer of 1969, when she was a lonely fourteen-year-old growing up in Northern California. One day she sees a girl at a park, a girl with a gang of other girls who seem free and alive. She is mesmerized by them, Suzanne in particular. She is quickly drawn into their soon-to- be infamous cult and meets the man who is its charismatic leader. As her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.
When Emma Cline read Helter Skelter as a teenager she wasn’t interested in Manson but was fascinated by the girls themselves. Girls who looked like people she knew. Cline grew up with four sisters. She describes that time in their house as a never-ending adolescence.Cline knew she wanted to write about young girls as they start to experience power for the first time in their lives, with no real understanding of how to use it or what it means—how that desire to be seen and known makes you vulnerable. In her debut novel, Cline perfectly captures the voice of an adolescent girl who is desperate to be accepted—the girl who cannot let go of that person who first noticed her. With razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight, The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an unforgettable portrait of girls, and of the women they become.
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