“Tupelo Hassman has to exist for me as an idea, a notion of a writer, the way my teenage self barely comprehended that there was a person who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird […]”
“But Hassman’s book is more then just Rory’s story. Under the words and images, there’s fury and compassion. Like Willy Vlautin, Hassman locates her stories in the dark corners of bus depots, the dingy bars way off the main road, the welfare reports that only tell half the story. Girlchild is just a story about a girl finding her way off the Calle, out of the trailer park, but there’s no “just” about it. Hassman is never going to tell you how terrible Rory’s life is, how you ought to pity her, how you shouldn’t take what you have for granted. She’s just going to show you, over and over again, how people keep moving, keep scraping by, keep surviving…” (via A Hundred Tiny Stories, Told With Fury and Compassion: Tupelo Hassman’s “Girlchild” Reviewed | Vol. 1 Brooklyn)
More artifacts from Tupelo Hassman’s book tour/road trip/documentary for her novel Girlchild:
Book Tour Souvenirs #10-13-ish!
I’ve begun collecting Q&A questions from the tour like wildflowers, pressing them between wood blocks to take out and listen to when all goes fallow.
So far, there have been two questions about the relevance of the Occupy Movement to those living in U.S. ghettoes, one question about what I think about what Romney thinks about what he says Obama says, and one question, presented as a statement, considering my life’s apparent trajectory despite growing up much like GIRLCHILD’s Rory Dawn, which is to say, impoverished.
I’d like to speak to this last question with the attached photo.
Some book tours are just book tours. Tupelo Hassman’s book tour is also a documentary.
Hardbound: A Novel’s Life on the Road is underway!
Monster, the film camera, made her debut on Saturday night at girlchild’s launch, where, in true Hollywood fashion, she broke a leg (to-do: get new tripod).
Yesterday was Monster’s first day out in the sun, taped up leg and all. Thanks to the soon-to-be in-laws visit, a whopping crew of four traveled to the Albany Bulb, a geographical and anarchical outcropping of San Francisco’s East Bay that is also one of the Best Places on Earth. D.P. for the day, Bradford, filmed the signing of a copy of girlchild and its arrival in its new home: a shelf in the Bulb’s Landfill Library.
girlchild went on sale today and I received pictures from three of her first destinations: Bookshop Santa Cruz, a Kindle in Boston, and a kitchen table in Los Angeles!
Happy publication day to Tupelo Hassman!
For every kid who’s ever been smothered by parental concern, there have always been plenty in America and elsewhere who’ve been left to fend for themselves. One cold consolation these kids have is that their stories usually make for better literature.
Tupelo Hassman’s debut novel stars Rory, a resilient-if-ragged life force raised in a Reno trailer park who adopts a tattered copy of The Girl Scout Handbook as her Bible. Rory endures sexual abuse, the death of loved ones, and everyday invisibility — all without playing for our sympathy.
Speaking of souvenirs! Getting Rory Dawn’s Troop of One patches ready for delivery and sale has turned into a cottage industry! The cottage is alive with discussion, usually involving the question, “Whose idea was this?” (and usually asked by me).
It’s a labor of love, though, because they are gorgeous. Thanks again to Eli Harris for his design mojo!
Next: designing the label.
Not every novel comes with Girl Scout badges. Actually, none of them do. Except Tupelo Hassman’s Girlchild.
“It might be surprising that the [Girl] Scouts would include the lifesaving ‘How to Introduce Your Friends’ section under the broader category of ‘Homemaking,’ or that its sister sections are ‘Table Manners’ and ‘Wrapping Packages.’ In this instance, it makes perfect sense because Rory Dawn is making her new home with you.”