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"Girlhood" by Melissa Febos

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Aired on Wednesday, June 1st.

Now appearing in paperback, this bestselling collection of personal essays won a National Book Critics Circle Award; it was also named a "Best Book of the Year" by NPR, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, The Millions, and Ms Magazine.

Our guest is the acclaimed author Melissa Febos, whose latest book, just out in paperback, is "Girlhood." It's a gathering of personal essays that looks at how girls as well as women in American culture think of themselves...and how they're effectively trained to think of themselves...and how they might undo or break free of such training. Blending research, reporting, memoir, and scholarship, Febos charts how she and others like her have reimagined relationships and made room for the anger, grief, power, and pleasure women have long been taught to deny. Per The New York Times Book Review: "Febos's own voice is so irreverent and original. The aim of this book, though, is not simply to tell about her own life, but to listen to the pulses of many others'. In her author's note, Febos writes that she has 'found company in the stories of other women, and the revelation of all our ordinariness has itself been curative.' This solidarity puts 'Girlhood' in a feminist canon that includes Febos's idol, Adrienne Rich, and Maggie Nelson's theory-minded masterpieces: smart, radical company, and not ordinary at all."

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