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