In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms her life into a work of art. Suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young queer artist's life; with raw, flickering stories of awkward love, laughter, and discovery, Chelsea Girls is a funny, cool, and intimate account of how one young female writer managed to shrug off the imposition of a rigid cultural identity...Told in her audacious and singular voice made vivid and immediate in her lyrical language, Chelsea Girls weaves together memories of Myles's 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence, her unabashed lesbianity, and her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s and 80s New York.
A groundbreaking and candid novel-in-real-time, considered a cult classic, from one of America's most celebrated poets.
Despite having written the book 20 years ago, Myles's literary style feels as contemporary as the essayistic autobiographical fiction of Sheila Heti, Ben Lerner and Tao Lin, who might be considered her literary offspring. New York Times [Myles's] very presence in the world is a form of activism, but her work, when studied with care, is also political in the sense that it gives evidence of one of the richest and most conflicted human hearts you're likely to find New York Review of Books She and her work are unsettled in the best sense: restless, disturbing, changeable... She is exemplary for more and more young writers precisely because she has gone her own way. -- Ben Lerner Paris Review One of the richest and most conflicted human hearts you're likely to find -- Dan Chiasson New York Review of Books Reading Myles is nothing if not a physical experience, the one-two promise of a heartbeat that goes, I'm alive. I'm alive. Electric Literature
An important and beloved radical icon of American letters, Eileen Myles has been described as 'one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature'. She has published twenty books of poetry, art journalism, fiction, plays and libretti, and both she and her poems have recently appeared in the hit US TV series 'Transparent'. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers' grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize, the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing and was named to the Slate/Whiting Second Novel List in 2015. Myles lives in Marfa, Texas, and New York. Visit her website at www.eileenmyles.com.