Serious Girls Maxine Swann's promising debut, Serious Girls , is a delicate, clear-eyed distillation of teenage girls' greatest concerns: identity, authenticity, and sexual power. Maya and Roe,… Fiction Picador USA
Book Review

Serious Girls (Fall 2003)

Maxine Swann, Serious Girls | 'GIRLS' GONE WILD ''Serious'' chronicles two friends' confusing first year at boarding school
Image credit: book cover
'GIRLS' GONE WILD ''Serious'' chronicles two friends' confusing first year at boarding school

Details Writer: Maxine Swann; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Picador USA

Maxine Swann's promising debut, Serious Girls, is a delicate, clear-eyed distillation of teenage girls' greatest concerns: identity, authenticity, and sexual power. Maya and Roe, 16-year-old oddballs in their first year at a Northeastern boarding school, spend most of their time together browsing in a local thrift store and wondering ''What makes a person a person?'' They waver between preternatural poise and crippling self-doubt as narrator Maya takes illicit weekend trips to New York City to be with a man twice her age and Roe gets entangled with a violent-tempered local kid. Despite some bumpy transitions -- like Maya's abrupt decision to run off for the summer with her boyfriend -- ''Girls'' palpably evokes the frustration and anxiety of growing up.

Originally posted Nov 12, 2003 Published in issue #737 Nov 14, 2003 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners