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MICHELLE TEA discusses her memoir AGAINST MEMOIR with MAGGIE NELSON

Against Memoir (Amethyst Editions)

A queer countercultural icon opens up about all things artistic, romantic, and neurotic. 

The razor-sharp but damaged Valerie Solanas, a doomed lesbian gang, recovering alcoholics, and teenagers barely surviving at an ice creamery: these are some of the larger-than-life, yet all-too-human, figures populating America’s fringes. Rife with never-ending fights and failures, theirs are the stories we often try to forget. In the process of excavating and documenting these lives, Michelle Tea also reveals herself in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.

Delivered with her signature honesty and dark humor, Tea blurs the line between telling other people’s stories and her own. She turns an investigative eye to the genre that’s nurtured her entire career—memoir—and considers the extent to which art preys on life.

Praise for Against Memoir 

“From its opening sentence to its finish, Michelle Tea’s Against Memoir is a bracing, heaven-sent tonic for deeply troubled times. Its clarity, hilarity, range, nonchalant brilliance, and decades of experience in ‘art and music, love and queerness, writing and life’ remind me over and over again of the adventure, the party of it all—the joy of raucous thinking and loving and making—that’s fundamentally ours.”—MAGGIE NELSON, author of The Argonauts

“These essays blow my mind with their algebraic rhythms by which Michelle Tea manages pain and bliss. They take turns erupting in a pulpy and marvelous parade: landscape, passion, morality, family, cigarettes—each cited frankly and exquisitely like a smart kid with a dirty crayon explaining to us all how she sees god.”—EILEEN MYLES, author of Chelsea Girls

“I gobbled up these essays. Michelle Tea is riotously, wickedly funny, with an uncommon knack for naming the more hideous and complex parts of being human. Her particular genius makes the hardest truths and sorrows an irresistible joy to read.”—MELISSA FEBOS, author of Abandon Me

Michelle Tea is the author of five memoirs: The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, Valencia (now a film), The Chelsea Whistle, Rent Girl (illustrated), and How to Grow Up, currently in development with Amazon Studios. Her novels include Black Wave, Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, Girl at the Bottom of the Sea, and Rose of No Man’s Land. Tea is the curator of the Amethyst Editions imprint at the Feminist Press. She founded the literary nonprofit RADAR Productions and the international Sister Spit performance tours, and is the former editor of Sister Spit Books, an imprint of City Lights. She created Mutha Magazine, an online publication about real-life parenting. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Cosmopolitan, The Believer, Marie Claire, n+1, xoJane, California Sunday Magazine, Buzzfeed, and many other print and web publications.

Maggie Nelson is the author of The Argonauts, as well as an American poet, art critic, lyric essayist and nonfiction author of books such as The Red Parts: A Memoir, The Art of Cruelty, Bluets, and Jane: A Murder. The Art of Cruelty was a 2011 Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. Jane: A Murder was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Nelson has taught at the Graduate Writing Program of the New School, Wesleyan University, and the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute; she currently teaches in the CalArts MFA writing program. She was awarded an Arts Writers grant in 2007 from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. In 2011, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry.

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781936932184
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Amethyst Editions - May 8th, 2018

Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self through the Wisdom of the Cards Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062682406
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - June 13th, 2017

Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class Cover Image
By Michelle Tea (Editor)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781580056663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Seal Press - February 27th, 2018

Black Wave Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781558619395
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Published: Amethyst Editions - September 13th, 2016

How to Grow Up: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142181195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume - January 27th, 2015

The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America (Semiotext(e) Native Agents) Cover Image
By Michelle Tea, Brandon Stosuy (Foreword by), Eileen Myles (Afterword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781584350521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Semiotext(e) - August 17th, 2007

Sister Spit: Writing, Rants & Reminiscence from the Road (City Lights/Sister Spit) Cover Image
By Michelle Tea (Editor)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780872865662
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: City Lights Publishers - City Lights Publishe - September 18th, 2012

The Chelsea Whistle Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781580052399
Availability: Backordered
Published: Seal Press - April 15th, 2008

Girl at the Bottom of the Sea Cover Image
By Michelle Tea, Amanda Verwey (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781940450001
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: McSweeney's McMullens - June 2015

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek Cover Image
By Michelle Tea, Jason Polan (Illustrator)
$13.00
ISBN: 9781938073953
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: McSweeney's McMullens - July 2014

Rose of No Man's Land Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780156030939
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Mariner Books - February 5th, 2007

Bluets Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781933517407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - October 2009

The Argonauts Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555977351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - January 26th, 2016

The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393343144
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 13th, 2012

Jane: A Murder Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781593766580
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Soft Skull Press - September 13th, 2016

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2016