Competition published on June 10, 2016.
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.
Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways. Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
**We have 5 copies of The Girls to give away – scroll down for your chance to win!**
Our reviewer, Jade Craddock, said:
Cline’s story is buttressed by a sharp commentary on what it means to be a girl, a woman, and how girls’ lives can be shaped, and importantly misshaped, by what the author calls ‘their desire to be seen and known’.
It is intriguing to see how swiftly and completely Evie turns her back on her normal life and accepts and hungers for a squalid alternative, such is the insight of Cline’s novel. Indeed, one might expect a book that has in part its inspiration in the Manson murders to focus singularly on that. For Cline, though, it is just a culmination – condensed to a few intense paragraphs towards the end of the novel – to a more specific narrative about the social, moral, psychological and sexual lives of girls – or rather a girl.
It is an unsettling and astute examination of female self-worth and its misplacement and lack and it is easy to see why this is a book that will not only cause a significant stir but is likely to be a modern hit in American fiction.
Watch out for Jade’s interview with Emma in the Summer issue of nb magazine, which you can subscribe to from the nudge shop.
What they say…
Emma Cline has an unparalleled eye for the intricacies of girlhood, turning the stuff of myth into something altogether more intimate. The Girls destroys our ability to consider violence a foreign territory, and reminds us that behind so many of our culture’s fables exists a girl: unseen, unheard, angry. This book will break your heart and blow your mind.
– Lena Dunham
I don’t know which is more amazing, Emma Cline’s understanding of human beings or her mastery of language.
– Mark Haddon
Emma Cline’s first novel positively hums with fresh, startling, luminous prose. The Girls announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American fiction.
– Jennifer Egan
What an exhilarating read. Dream-like and heady, nuanced and complicated, I especially loved the needle-sharp observations about how young women let themselves be used, ignored and manipulated. An enjoyable and an important book.
– Emma Healey
About the author
Emma Cline is from California. She was the recipient of the 2014 Paris Review Plimpton Prize for Fiction. The Girls is her first novel.The Girls has sold into 35 territories.S cott Rudin has bought the film rights.
We have 5 copies of The Girls by Emma Cline to give away – for your chance to win simply fill in the form below:
The Competition is closed.
The Girls by Emma Cline, published on 16 June, 2016 by Chatto & Windus, in hardback at £12.99
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Found on the Shelves from Pushkin Press and The London Library