Clown Girl The plot points of Monica Drake's Clown Girl are a parade of quirks: Down-and-out clown Nita (stage name: Sniffles) waits for her beloved to return… Clown Girl The plot points of Monica Drake's Clown Girl are a parade of quirks: Down-and-out clown Nita (stage name: Sniffles) waits for her beloved to return… 2007-01-04 Fiction
Book Review

Clown Girl (2007)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jan 04, 2007; Writer: Monica Drake; Genre: Fiction

The plot points of Monica Drake's Clown Girl are a parade of quirks: Down-and-out clown Nita (stage name: Sniffles) waits for her beloved to return to Baloneytown. She pays the rent with demeaning party gigs — twisting balloons into pietàs — while developing a Chaplinesque version of Kafka's Metamorphosis. Add in a pot-dealing ex and a rubber-chicken subplot, and it seems like a formula for disaster. Amazingly, Drake finds an emotional through-line in Nita's stubborn dedication to comedy in the face of disappointment. Riffing on language and revising her jokes in nervous flurries, Nita is the most endearingly teary clown since Smokey Robinson. A-

Originally posted Feb 16, 2007 Published in issue #922 Feb 23, 2007 Order article reprints