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Valencia by Michelle Tea


by Michelle Tea

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a realistic view of the queer community of san francisco seen through the lens of michelle tea, who has a wonderful and beautiful way with words.
  AlexBeckenstein | Jan 24, 2016 |
Drugs, sex, and a broken heart! ( )
  krishnahappy | Mar 27, 2014 |
I read this before and hated it--probably in 2002. I read it again for book club and this time noticed how well it is written. I still have trouble relating to the narrator. Even at my most self-destructive I was never self-destructive like this...she seems to have so little awareness of herself. But I think her honesty is amazing and the level of detail with which she captures her whole scene. I'm curious to read some of her later books to see how she evolves. ( )
  sumariotter | Nov 2, 2011 |
An enjoyable romp, made me laugh once every couple of pages. It presents itself as autobiography, and she says it all happened, (http://www.oasisjournals.com/Issues/0108/cover.html), but she gets to call it fiction, which lets her have it both ways: the structural relaxation of a memoir, but the eventfulness of fiction. ( )
  grunin | Aug 12, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 158005238X, Paperback)

You don't have to be part of the emerging postpunk subculture of queer urban girls to relish this smooth ride of a novel, like Kathy Acker on Prozac on a sunny day, in which many exciting things happen without affecting much of anything, and one of the most profound moments is a mild, drug-induced insight into the meaninglessness of life. Michelle, the main character, is a person for whom blue hair is as big a style change as blue pants. She lurches between women, more in love with the idea of love than with Iris or Willa or Gwynne or Petra. Her work experiences are equally brief, although she can't bring herself to actually quit jobs. She just stops showing up. "Are you going to work?" her current lover asks one morning.
No, I was not going to work. I was an artist, a lover, a lover of women, of the oppressed and downtrodden, a warrior really. I should have been somewhere leading an armed revolution in the name of love and no, I was not going to work. Willa didn't work. I mean, she did, but it's a stretch to call it work. She bartended at a dyke bar a few nights a week, drank free beer, and bummed all her cigarettes.... All week she was free, writing angsty brilliant poems, drawing comic books, painting gigantic painful pictures, you know, living. I wanted to live.
Michelle Tea's characters are a peculiar fin-de-siècle blend of jaded idealists and thoughtful egotists: sex workers, poets, and mad hatters who end up making breakfast for roomfuls of stoned strangers. The occasional flash of clarity doesn't alter the basically anarchic nature of Tea's meandering narrative, so much like the tales of an incidental figure from Valencia, a loud redhead named Iggy who told stories "so incredible you wondered if they were true but ultimately didn't care because you were so enraptured by her grand gestures and re-enactments." --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:51 -0400)

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