Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms
by Michelle Tea
Feminist Press. 318 pages, $18.95
THE EARLY DAYS of lesbian-feminist literature boasted authors with big personalities—Rita Mae Brown, Germaine Greer, Kate Millet, and Jill Johnston, to name but a few. Since then, the field has been largely bereft of such outsize figures. True, there are many terrific mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and romance novelists, lesbian and bisexual professionals who have lots of loyal supporters. For this reason, if Michelle Tea didn’t already exist, she would have to be invented.
Luckily, she does exist, and she’s made a name for herself with books like Valencia, Rent Girl, and Black Wave, as well as books about the Tarot, various anthologies, and performance pieces through the group Sister Spit. For most of the 1990s and early 2000s she was the spokesperson for a generation of San Franciscans, detailing the residential, literary, and intellectual changes and challenges of the city. She was also the force and soul behind the radar reading series that kept LGBT literature alive in the Bay Area. Now in her forties, she is married and a mother and living in L.A.