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Rust Belt Femme

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One of NPR's "Best Books of 2020," and winner of the 2020 Independent Publisher Awards' gold medal for LGBTQ+ nonfiction, Raechel Anne Jolie's blazing memoir is now available in paperback.
Raechel Anne Jolie’s early life in a working-class Cleveland exurb was full of race cars, Budweiser-drinking men, and the women who loved them. When she was four, her life changed forever when her father came home from work, took the garbage out to the curb, and was hit by a drunk driver, suffering a debilitating brain injury. Rust Belt Femme is the story of her survival. Fearlessly honest, wry, and tender, Jolie digs into both the pain of past traumas and the joy of teenaged discovery to craft a love letter to the brassy, big-haired women who raised her and the 90s alternative culture that shaped her into who she is today: a queer femme with PTSD and a deep love of the Midwest.

Personal and political; lyrical and fierce, Rust Belt Femme speaks to anyone who was once a misfit kid trying to find their place in the world.

About the Author

Raechel Anne Jolie is a writer, educator, and media maker. Raechel received her PhD in Communication Studies with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her writing has been published in numerous academic journals as well as various popular press sites (Teen Vogue, Bitch Magazine, In These Times, and more). You can find her @reblgrrlraechel or at www.raechelannejolie.com. She lives in Cleveland

Coming-of-age memoirs work best when the author is unafraid to dig deep into the context of their childhood, as well as the actual events. In her debut memoir, Rust Belt Femme, Raechel Anne Jolie gets it: On the surface, Femme is an exploration of trauma, queer identity and determination in the life of a Midwest kid trapped in a cycle of poverty and tragedy. But Jolie also stages this achingly personal story against the backdrop of the 1990s and early 2000s, with punk, emo and indie music playing as much of a role in her young life as the working-class environs that she rebelled against - and that she eventually came to grips with.-- Jason Heller, NPR Book Concierge's Best Books of 2020 Jolie's voice is at once funny and heart-wrenching, putting every reader who wanted to be part of a scene back into their adolescent shoes.--Alicia Kennedy, Tenderly Quite possibly the first book that's ever made me well up with tears within the first few pages....[Jolie's] story is both remarkable and utterly ordinary; any dreamy kid who grew up broke and weird will see a spark of themselves in this book, which is also why it's so important.--Kim Kelly, The New Republic A sharp coming-of-age portrait. -- Kirkus Reviews Stirring and empathetic [...] It is like listening to a mix tape you love on repeat: I couldn't get enough.--Courtney Brown, Ohioana Quarterly

Publisher: Belt Publishing
Pub date:
Length:
150 pages
Format: Hardcover