Girl Walking Backwards
By Bett Williams
Skye wants what all teenagers want -- to survive high school. She lives
in Southern California, though, which is making that difficult. Her mother
has fallen victim to the pseudo-New Age culture and insists ondragger
her to consciousness-raising workshops and hypnotists. As if this weren't
difficult enough, Skye falls in love with Jessica, a troubled gothic punk
girl who cuts herself regularly with sharp objects. When she finds her
boyfriend having sex with Jessica in a bathroom stall at a rave, her romantic
illusions collapse and she has to face the fact that she's been running
away from her mother's insanity. Right when things look their worst, though,
Skye is helped by Mol, a pagan who becomes her true friend, and Lorri,
a graceful volleyball player with whom she finds real love. From them
she learns how to feel authentic emotions in a culture of poseurs and
New Age charlatans. In this anti-coming-of-age-novel, where growing up
is irrelevant, this is the best gift of all.
"Let's stop kidding ourselves. California is a god-awful scary place where the golden glow of sex and drugs hides the money-soaked carcass of emotional vampirism. If you don't believe it, this agile and devastating portrait of a young California dyke will convince you ... But don't despair; Williams is a good fairy after all, blessing her work and its achingly gay heroine with lovely youthful sex, as redemptive as it gets."
"Bett Williams makes you laugh and then makes you feel guilty for laughing. Girl Walking Backwards is brilliant Southern Gothic merged with punk rock and moved West. An honest, tender, and nasty rendering of self-mutilation and New Age fascism, this book establishes Williams as one of the most original novelists around."