Photo of Michelle Tea
Photo of Michelle Tea
Photo of Michelle Tea
Photo of Michelle Tea
Photo of Michelle Tea
Photo of Michelle Tea
(Valencia is the fast-paced account of one girl's search f...)
Valencia is the fast-paced account of one girl's search for love and high times in the drama-filled dyke world of San Francisco's Mission District. Michelle Tea records a year lived in a world of girls: there's knife-wielding Marta, who introduces Michelle to a new world of radical sex; Willa, Michelle's tormented poet-girlfriend; Iris, the beautiful boy-dyke who ran away from the South in a dust cloud of drama; and Iris's ex, Magdalena Squalor, to whom Michelle turns when Iris breaks her heart.
(In this gritty, confessional memoir, Michelle Tea takes t...)
In this gritty, confessional memoir, Michelle Tea takes the reader back to the city of her childhood: Chelsea, Massachusetts, a place where time and hope are spent on things not getting any worse. Tea’s girlhood is shaped by the rough fabric of the neighborhood and by its characters, the soft vulnerability of her sister Madeline and her quietly brutal Polish father; the doddering, sometimes violent nuns of Our Lady of Assumption; Marisol Lewis from the projects by the creek; and Johnna Latrotta, the tough-as-nails Italian dance-school teacher who offered a slim chance for escape to every young Chelsea girl in tulle and tap shoes. Told in Tea’s trademark loose-tongued, lyrical style, this memoir both celebrates and annihilates one girl’s tightrope walk out of a working-class slum and the lessons she carries with her. With wry humor and hard-fought wisdom, Tea limns the extravagant peril of dramatic adolescence with the private, catastrophic secret harbored within the walls of her family’s home, a secret that threatens to destroy her family forever.
(Before penning her contemporary classic Valencia, Tea wro...)
Before penning her contemporary classic Valencia, Tea wrote wonderfully honest narrative poems, which she self-published in small editions, now collected here for the first time. A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004 and a Lambda Literary Award finalist.
(Rent Girl is the illustrated saga of one broke baby dyke ...)
Rent Girl is the illustrated saga of one broke baby dyke trying to make a buck in the surreal world of the sex industry. Avoiding the stereotypes of a prostitute as a victim or superhero, Tea instead explores the complicated occupation in all its nuances - absurd, somber, hilarious, disturbing. When Michelle, a young Boston baby dyke, needs money, her adventuresome girlfriend suggests taking up a secretive career in the world of escort services. Her misadventures through her years in the sex trade are at times, humorous, tantalizing, and heartbreaking. Constantly struggling between the worlds of poverty and prostitution, Michelle must make the eventual decision to stay in the business with its financial freedoms or quit for spiritual serenity.
(An urgent testament to the trials of life for women livin...)
An urgent testament to the trials of life for women living without a financial safety net Indie icon Michelle Tea - whose memoir The Chelsea Whistle details her own working-class roots in gritty Chelsea, Massachusetts - shares these fierce, honest, tender essays written by women who can't go home to the suburbs when ends don't meet. When jobs are scarce and the money has dwindled, these writers have nowhere to go but below the poverty line. The writers offer their different stories not for sympathy or sadness, but an unvarnished portrait of how it was, is, and will be for generations of women growing up working class in America. These wide-ranging essays cover everything from selling blood for grocery money to the culture shock of "jumping" class.
(Fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll is a hungry machine, ta...)
Fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll is a hungry machine, taking in her hometown of Mansfield, Massachusetts - a place that has shamelessly surrendered to neon signs, theme restaurants, and cookie-cutter chain stores. Cynical but naive, Trisha observes the disappointing world from the ignored perspective of a teenager: creepy guys, the unfathomable sadness of the elderly, illegal tattoos, and the wild kingdom of mall culture. After being hired and abruptly fired from the most popular shop at the absurd and kaleidoscopic Square One Mall, Trisha finds herself linked up with a chain-smoking, physically stunted mall rat named Rose, and her life shifts into manic overdrive. A whirlwind exploration of poverty and dropouts, Rose of No Man’s Land is the world according to Trisha - a furious love story between two weirdo girls, brimming with snarky observations and soulful wonderings on the dazzle-flash emptiness of contemporary culture.
(Michelle Tea, a favorite on the spoken-word scene and bel...)
Michelle Tea, a favorite on the spoken-word scene and beloved in literary circles for books such as Valencia, Chelsea Whistle, and most recently Rose of No Man's Land, has gathered new work by twenty-two of the most outstanding emerging voices in queer girl writing. Fiction is matched in the excitement by graphic novel excerpts and personal essays. Certain to become a literary touchstone for a new generation of writers and readers, Baby Remember My Name speaks to the broad range of queer girl experiences in work that is brave, irreverent, funny, sensitive, and hot.
(Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Roa...)
Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road captures the provocative, politicized, and risk-taking elements that characterize the Sister Spit aesthetic, stamping the raw energy and signature style of the live show onto the page. Bratty poets and failed priestesses, punk angst and tough love, too much to drink and tattooed timelines - this anthology captures it all in a collection of poetry, personal narrative, fiction, and artwork. Featuring a who's who of queer and queer-centric writers and artists, the collection functions as a travelog, a historical document, and a yearbook from irreverent graduates of the school of hard knocks.
(A raw and surprisingly beautiful coming-of-age memoir, Co...)
A raw and surprisingly beautiful coming-of-age memoir, Coal to Diamonds tells the story of Mary Beth Ditto, a girl from rural Arkansas who found her voice. Born and raised in Judsonia, Arkansas - a place where indoor plumbing was a luxury, a squirrel was a meal, and sex ed was taught during senior year in high school (long after many girls had gotten pregnant and dropped out) Beth Ditto stood out. Beth was a fat, pro-choice, sexually confused choir nerd with a great voice, an eighties perm, and a Kool-Aid dye job. Her single mother worked overtime, which meant Beth and her five siblings were often left to fend for themselves. Beth spent much of her childhood as a transient, shuttling between relatives, caring for a sickly, volatile aunt she nonetheless loved, looking after sisters, brothers, and cousins, and trying to steer clear of her mother’s bad boyfriends.
(Everyone in the broken-down town of Chelsea, Massachusett...)
Everyone in the broken-down town of Chelsea, Massachusetts, has a story too worn to repeat from the girls who play the pass-out game just to feel like they're somewhere else, to the packs of aimless teenage boys, to the old women from far away who left everything behind. But there’s one story they all still tell: the oldest and saddest but most hopeful story, the one about the girl who will be able to take their twisted world and straighten it out. The girl who will bring the magic. Could Sophie Swankowski be that girl? With her tangled hair and grubby clothes, her weird habits, and her visions of a filthy, swearing mermaid who comes to her when she’s unconscious, Sophie could be the one to uncover the power flowing beneath Chelsea’s potholed streets and sludge-filled rivers, and the one to fight the evil that flows there, too. Sophie might discover her destiny, and maybe even in time to save them all.
(As an aspiring young writer in San Francisco, Michelle Te...)
As an aspiring young writer in San Francisco, Michelle Tea lived in a scuzzy communal house: she drank; she smoked; she snorted anything she got her hands on; she toiled for the minimum wage; she dated men and women, and sometimes both at once. But between hangovers and dead-end jobs, she scrawled in notebooks and organized dive bar poetry readings, working to make her literary dreams a reality. In How to Grow Up, Tea shares her awkward stumble towards the life of a Bona Fide Grown-Up: healthy, responsible, self-aware, and stable. She writes about passion, about her fraught relationship with money, about adoring Barney’s while shopping at thrift stores, about breakups and the fertile ground between relationships, about roommates and rent, and about being superstitious. At once heartwarming and darkly comic, How to Grow Up proves that the road less traveled may be a difficult one, but if you embrace life’s uncertainty and dust yourself off after every screw-up, slowly but surely, you just might make it to adulthood.
(Sophie Swankowski is the hero from the stories she's been...)
Sophie Swankowski is the hero from the stories she's been hearing all her life: she's the girl who will save the world. Or so she's been told. Now she and her unlikely guardian - the gruff, filthy mermaid Syrena - must travel the pitch-black seas from broken-down Chelsea, Massachusetts, to Syrena's homeland in Poland. Along the way, Syrena will reveal the terrible truth about her past, and teach Sophie about the ages-old source of her newly discovered power. But left behind in Chelsea, without Sophie to protect them from the dark magic she's awakened, what will become of Sophie's friends and family? The girl at the Bottom of the Sea is the follow-up to Michelle Tea's beloved Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, "a refreshing breath of air in the world of YA, equal parts eerie, heartbreaking, and fantastical."
(Desperate to quell her addiction to drugs and alcohol, di...)
Desperate to quell her addiction to drugs and alcohol, disastrous romance, and nineties San Francisco, Michelle heads south to LA But soon it’s officially announced that the world will end in one year, and life in the sprawling metropolis becomes increasingly weird. While living in an abandoned bookstore, dating Matt Dillon, and keeping an eye on the encroaching apocalypse, Michelle begins a new novel, a meta-textual exploration to complement her vows to embrace maturity and responsibility. But as she tries to make queer love and art without succumbing to self-destructive impulses, the boundaries between storytelling and everyday living begin to blur, and Michelle wonders how much she’ll have to compromise her artistic process if she’s going to properly ride out doomsday.
(Beloved literary iconoclast Michelle Tea reinvents tarot ...)
Beloved literary iconoclast Michelle Tea reinvents tarot for a new generation in this guide to using the Tarot as a twenty-first-century tool for connecting with our higher selves. Long before Michelle Tea was winning awards for her poignant memoirs, she was a scrappy misfit on the streets of San Francisco, supporting herself by giving eerily prescient tarot readings. As her reputation as a writer grew, she stopped publicly reading the Tarot, though she never stopped doing it privately. Based on over twenty-five years of experience and a deep and abiding love of the cards, Modern Tarot brings the full force of Tea’s unique insight, inviting pop sensibility, and wicked humor to bear on the tradition of the Tarot in a fascinating journey through the cards that teach us how to use this tradition for radical self-growth.
Michelle Tea moved to the San Francisco Mission District in 1993. The following year she founded the all-girl spoken word group Sister Spit with Sini Anderson. The group's performances, both in San Francisco and throughout the United States and Canada, have made Tea a fixture on the literary performance scene.
Tea founded RADAR Productions, a literary non-profit that oversees queer-centric projects, including the global phenomenon Drag Queen Story Hour, in which drag queens read stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookshops.
For three years she blogged about her attempts to get pregnant on the popular XOJane.com blog "Getting Pregnant with Michelle Tea."
Her numerous books include the essay collection "Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms" (2018), for which she won the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay; "Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self Through the Wisdom of the Cards" (2017); the poetry collection "The Beautiful: Collected Poems" (2003); the novels "Rose of No Man's Land" (2006) and "Valencia" (2000); and memoirs "Rent Girl" (2004), illustrated by Lauren McCubbin, "The Chelsea Whistle" (2002), and "The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America" (1998).
She edited the anthologies "Sister Spit: Writing, Rants, and Reminiscence from the Road" (2012), "Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing" (2007), "Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class" (2004), and, with Clint Catalyst, "Pills, Chills, Thrills, and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person" (2004).
(An urgent testament to the trials of life for women livin...)2004
(Everyone in the broken-down town of Chelsea, Massachusett...)2013
(Desperate to quell her addiction to drugs and alcohol, di...)2016
(Michelle Tea, a favorite on the spoken-word scene and bel...)2006
(As an aspiring young writer in San Francisco, Michelle Te...)2015
(Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Roa...)2012
(Fourteen-year-old Trisha Driscoll is a hungry machine, ta...)2006
(In this gritty, confessional memoir, Michelle Tea takes t...)2002
(Beloved literary iconoclast Michelle Tea reinvents tarot ...)2017
(Before penning her contemporary classic Valencia, Tea wro...)2003
(A raw and surprisingly beautiful coming-of-age memoir, Co...)2013
(Valencia is the fast-paced account of one girl's search f...)2000
(Rent Girl is the illustrated saga of one broke baby dyke ...)2004
(Sophie Swankowski is the hero from the stories she's been...)2015
Michell was a co-founder of Sister Spit, a raucous lesbian-feminist spoken word and performance art collective, the aim of which was to give voice to the queer and working-class women who felt they had been excluded by second-wave feminism and who aspired to the life of a touring rock band. "We were, largely, a group of people who had heard the word 'no' a lot," she writes in Against Memoir. "No to being queer, to wanting to be artists, and to thinking anyone would want to listen to our attitudinal manifestos."
Tea had come through a series of traumatic experiences including the discovery that her stepfather had drilled a hole in the wall of her bedroom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in order to spy on her, and what she calls her "lesbian feminist nervous breakdown," a sexual and ideological awakening that she laughs about now but at the time she found "overwhelming."
Michell married Dashiell Lippman. In 2015, she gave birth to a son.