Front Cover
Seal Press, 2000 - Fiction - 202 pages
19 Reviews
In this gritty, confessional memoir, Michelle Tea takes the reader back to the city of her childhood: Chelsea, Massachusetts -- a place where time and hope are spent on things not getting any worse.

Tea's girlhood is shaped by the rough fabric of the neighborhood and by its characters -- the soft vulnerability of her sister Madeline and her quietly brutal Polish father; the doddering, sometimes violent nuns of Our Lady of Assumption; Marisol Lewis from the projects by the creek; and Johnna Latrotta, the tough-as-nails Italian dance-school teacher who offered a slim chance for escape to every young Chelsea girl in tulle and tap shoes.

Told in Tea's trademark loose-tongued, lyrical style, this memoir both celebrates and annihilates one girl's tightrope walk out of a working-class slum and the lessons she carries with her. With wry humor and a hard-fought wisdom, Tea limns the extravagant peril of a dramatic adolescence with the private, catastrophic secret harbored within the walls of her family's home -- a secret that threatens to destroy her family forever.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Valencia

User Review  - i. merey - Goodreads

6 stars for writing 2 stars for painful, embarrassing identification with main character This is the type of book I adored when I was younger. What am I saying, I still love these books. And it is ... Read full review

Review: Valencia

User Review  - Sasa - Goodreads

I'm still high and drunk from the craziness of Valencia. I read it in one sittingN which is probably not a good thing. All i could think about is it must be so nice to be that irresponsible and have ... Read full review

About the author (2000)

Michelle Tea is the prolific author of the Lambda Award-winning "Valencia, " the graphic novel "Rent Girl, " the "inspired queer bildungsroman" Rose of No Man's Land, and other books. She was a 1999 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for fiction. Her critically acclaimed books have appeared on "books of the year" lists in publications ranging from the "Voice Literary Supplement" to the "San Francisco Chronicle." She lives in San Francisco.

Bibliographic information