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Paperback | $14.95 Trade | £10.95 | ISBN: 9781584350521 | 192 pp. | 6 x 9 in | August 2007

Essential Info

The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, New Edition

Introduction by Brandon Stosuy


michelle_tea.jpg 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.

About the Author

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 Chronicle. She lives in San Francisco.


"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

"The legacy of thirty years of feminism.... Rollicking and blistering, pained and hilarious, wired and wild-eyed and smashingly good.", Laurie Stone, Village Voice

"Sentences that snap, and pop off the page to create a wholly formed, gruesomely real universe between the book covers.", Chas Bowie, Portland Mercury

"Full of burning intensity."—New York Times

"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."—Bookslut


"Dirty, sweet, pop, and poetic, Michelle Tea is like a twisted Spice Girl who can actually sing—and write."
Mary Gaitskill