Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors compare their recently released books to weird things. This week Caroline Hagood writes about Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster, her new book of nonfiction out from Spuyten Duyvil Publishing.
If Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster were an actual monster, it would be a friendly one that bumbled around in a comical way trying to learn everything about the world. But this monster would be fierce when necessary. Make no mistake about it. It would also eat all the food in your fridge, but you would forgive her (she would be a girl monster of course) because she only did it in the name of Storytelling with a capital “S.”
If Weird Girls were a girl, she would be you: on fire with creative longing, just wanting so badly to stay up all night building something all your own; ravenous for knowledge and narrative, always all about making, wanting to live every life and see every sight; in love with the world even though it has done you wrong too many times; alive inside and just looking for a way to turn that outward; so much that people don’t know; glowing and getting ready to break in half with the sheer force of your desire to make a work of art that causes the jaws of onlookers to fall open on the streets.
If Weird Girls were a song, it would be the one that gets stuck in your head but not because it’s the loveliest. Because it’s a landslide that pulls you into the underworld, where you meet all your creative idols and also get a visit from a special guest of your choosing from the upper world, but only if that special guest forces you to break down the borders that formerly enclosed you and emerge as something shiny, dangerous, and entirely new.
Caroline Hagood is an Assistant Professor of Literature, Writing and Publishing and Director of Undergraduate Writing at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. She is the author of two poetry books, the book-length essay, Ways of Looking at a Woman, and the novel, Ghosts of America. Her book-length essay Weird Girls is forthcoming in November. Her work has appeared in publications including Creative Nonfiction, LitHub, the Kenyon Review, Hanging Loose, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, Salon,and Elle. Follow her on Twitter at @CarolineHagood.