The critically acclaimed adventures of an ex-Goth, ex-straight-girl, ex-lesbian, ex-Catholic schoolgirl on the road in 1990s America.
Published by Semiotext(e) to critical acclaim in 1998, Michelle Tea's debut novel The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America quickly established Tea as an exciting new literary talent and the voice of a new generation of queer, bisexual, transgendered, and straight youth. The Village Voice called Passionate Mistakes “the legacy of thirty years of feminism,” and Eileen Myles, writing in the Nation, hailed the novel as “a hunk of lyric information that coolly, then frantically, describes the car wreck of her generation. ”The too-smart, caustic, and radiant narrator of Passionate Mistakes is, at twenty-seven, an ex-Goth, ex-drummer, ex-straight girl, ex-lesbian separatist vegan graduate of vocational high school in the working class town of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Written with lyrical precision and charm, the novel describes a journey with no final destination, a fast-paced and picaresque road trip that yields a redemptive vision of an America that has nothing left to offer its youth.
This new edition of a Semiotext(e) classic includes critical essays by Brandon Stosuy and Eileen Myles that describe Michelle Tea's achievement as a literary innovator and cultural icon. Michelle Tea is the prolific author of the Lambda Award-winning Valencia, the graphic novel Rent Girl, the “inspired queer bildungsroman” Rose of No Man's Land, and other books. She was a 1999 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for fiction. Her critically acclaimed books have appeared on “books of the year” lists in publications ranging from the Voice Literary Supplement to the San Francisco Chonicle. She lives in San Francisco.
Michelle Tea is the author of over twenty books of fiction, memoir, poetry and children's literature. Her autofiction, Valencia, a cult classic, won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Fiction. Her essay collection Against Memoir was awarded the PEN/America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for The Art of the Essay. Tea is also the recipient of awards from The Rona Jaffe Foundation, as well as the Guggenheim Foundation. The founder of Drag Queen Story Hour, she has received honors from the American Library Association and Logo Television. Tea curated the Sister Spit Books series at City Lights Publisher, and founded the ongoing imprint Amethyst Edition at The Feminist Press.
Eileen Myles, named by BUST magazine "the rock star of modern poetry," is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including Chelsea Girls, Cool for You, Sorry, Tree, and Not Me (Semiotext(e), 1991), and is the coeditor of The New Fuck You (Semiotext(e), 1995). Myles was head of the writing program at University of California, San Diego, from 2002 to 2007, and she has written extensively on art and writing and the cultural scene. Most recently, she received a fellowship from the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Foundation.
At 27, Michelle Tea is an ex-prostitute, ex-Goth, ex-drummer for Dirt Bike Gang, ex-straight girl, ex-lesbian separatist vegan, ex-Catholic schoolgirl, and ex-resident of Chelsea, Boston's working class slum. She is poised, with this breakthrough debut volume, to become the spokesperson for America's young queer girl mutant horde.
New Books Weekly
Dirty, sweet, pop, and poetic, Michelle Tea is like a twisted Spice Girl who can actually singand write.
Full of burning intensity.
New York Times
Sentences that snap, and pop off the page to create a wholly formed, gruesomely real universe between the book covers.
The first time I read The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, I thought, Yes. Finally. No book has gotten closer to describing my own experience as a teen American girl, even though I came of age on a different continent than Michelle Tea, and never slept with another girl, and never worked as a prostitute. She captures something so close to the core of contemporary female experience that I want to get trite about it. I want to gush. I want to call her the Voice of a Generation, the New Jack Kerouac.
The legacy of thirty years of feminism.... Rollicking and blistering, pained and hilarious, wired and wild-eyed and smashingly good.