You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.


‘Girlchild’ by Tupelo Hassman

In a funny, sparkling debut, abused, gifted, trailer-park child clings to Girl Scout Handbook as a road map to a better life

Time for full disclosure/shameful confession. When I first turned these pages, I thought: Uh oh, a trailer park, molesting Grandpa, gambling-addicted Grandma, drunk Mama, pedophilic “Uncles,’’ teenage pregnancies. Think Oprah, Dr. Phil, not to mention those Beans of Egypt, Maine, those Jukes of upstate New York. Mea culpa. I should have paid attention to the classic MFA workshop warning: There are no new stories. It’s how you write the old-shoe ones that makes the difference.

And what a difference Tupelo Hassman makes. “Girlchild,’’ Hassman’s debut novel, unfolds a compelling, layered narrative told by a protagonist with a voice so fresh, original, and funny you’ll be in awe. This novel rocks. In these postcards from the edge, using language both buoyant and brave, she tells the story of Rory Dawn Hendrix, who views herself as the “feebleminded daughter of a feebleminded daughter, herself the product of feebleminded stock.’’

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of