A vivid portrait of what it means to be a teenage girl in America today, from 58 of the country's finest, most credentialed writers on the subject
Amy Goldwasser Introduction
If you're a teenage girl today, you live your life in words-in text and instant messages, on blogs and social network pages. It's how you conduct your friendships and present yourself to the world. Every day, you're creating a formidable body of personal written work.
This generation's unprecedented comfort level with the written word has led to a fearless new American literature. These collected essays, at last, offer a key to understanding the inscrutable teenage girl-one of the most mislabeled and underestimated members of society, argues editor and writer Amy Goldwasser, whose work has appeared in Seventeen, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. And while psychologists and other experts have tried to explain the teen girl in recent years, no book since Ophelia Speaks has given her the opportunity to speak for herself-until now.
In this eye-opening collection, nearly sixty teenage girls from across the country speak out, writing about everything from post-Katrina New Orleans to Johnny Depp; from learning to rock climb to starting a rock band; from the loneliness of losing a best friend to the loathing or pride they feel about their bodies. Ranging in age from 13 to 19, and hailing from Park Avenue to rural Nevada, Georgia to Hawaii, the girls in RED-whose essays were selected from more than 800 contributions-represent a diverse spectrum of socioeconomic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds, creating a rich portrait of life as a teen girl in America today.
Revealing the complicated inner lives, humor, hopes, struggles, thrills, and obsessions of this generation, RED ultimately provides today's teen girl with much-needed community, perspective, and validation-and helps the rest of us to better understand her.
The Body and Various Thoughts on Beauty
Amy Hunt Sleeves
Alison Smith Curve
Jane Horowitz The Jewish Hair
Tiffani Hortman Muscle
Emily Kaplan Ode to My Breasts
Caro Fink Lucky
Charlotte Steinway The Weather Report
Meike Schleiff The "Beautiful" Cause of Death That Had Me Dying for a While
People You Have to Live with and Other Family
Alicia Davis Country
Claudia Berger The News
Hannah Morris The Two of Us
Sarah Morris To See How They Look on Me, on You
Emma Considine Bloody Red Heart
Jordyn Turney Mascara Wands Are Instruments of War
Kathryn Pavia The Fourth Floor
Zulay Regalado Pots and Pans
Annie Littlewood TLC: Three Days
Maxine Keyes Ghost Stories
What Can Be Learned at School
Emily Knox The Best Kind of Popular
Laura Lowe A Retelling of the Black-Letter Days, The Red-Letter Days, and the Fine Line That Ties Them Together
Elizabeth Case Hey You, Freshman with the Face!
Sara Harari Life Goes up a Wall
Carey Dunne Gym at Riverton
Lisa Chau Stuck in Traffic
Deborah Kim Packing
Friendships: Gone Well, Gone Poorly, Just Gone
Sarah McIntosh Lies We Have Told
Sarah Harrison Tampoons
Rebecca Murray Big Shoes
Elizabeth Metzger An Orchid, If That Is What It Is
Crushes Sweet and Excruciating, Sex, and a Love That Ends in Desert Rehab
Jocelyn Pearce The Match
Jasmine Sennhauser Decent Guy on the Planet
Eliza Appleton Cribs
Hayley Hoover The Sun's Shining Hotter
Jessica Goodman Boy One
Samantha Lewin Finding Myself in Utah
Anything Extracurricular: The Beach, the Horse, the Bee, the Lousy First Job, the Stellar Future Career, etc.
Kirsten Oldroyd Mini Mountain
Kelly Otterness Lately
Erika Kwee East
Lucy Bennett The Hamptons
Jaclyn Humphrey Pediatrics
Anna Saxon The Management
Samantha Gillogly Apiarian Days
Lindsay Erin Sellers Alone
Media, Pop Culture, Johnny Depp, Freakdom and Fandom
Sarah Schelde What Truthness Taught Me About Being (Un)Cool
Kali Moriarty Appeal from an Angry Not So Emo
Grace Habegger The Depth of Depp
Olive Panter Play
Saskia Boggs Just Watch
The World and What's Wrong (Sometimes Even What's Right) with It: Battle Cries
Dani Cox Ms. President
Cammi Henao Once in a While
Aarian Marshall Burning in Heaven
Zoe Mendelson Places of Worship
Danielle Norman Repeat
Cindy Morand The Border
Kathleen Hicks Bodies of Water
Maya-Catherine Popa The Dial Lifeand Him
Emily-Nicole Johns New City
Carla Perez-Gallardo To Do
About the Editor
"Each of these stories is a treasure. I couldn't say which is my favorite. It's like comparing children: one stuns you with her wit and then another breaks your heart with her sensitivity."
—Jeannette Walls, author of the New York Times Bestseller The Glass Castle
"It's high time people stopped writing, talking, and worrying about teenage girls and just let those girls speak for themselves. This book gives voice to many talented young essayists, who-either because of their suffering, their great wit, their sensitivity, their triumph, or some combination of all those things-richly deserve to be heard. My suspicion (my hope!) is to hear from them again and again, far into the future."
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York Times bestseller Eat, Pray, Love
"This book is amazing. Amy Goldwasser has gathered a perfect blend of raw and original voices. Honest, hysterical, heartbreaking, uplifting-these essays come straight from the true teenage soul."
—Paul Feig, creator of the TV series Freaks and Geeks; author of Kick Me and Superstud
"Red will speak to every teenage girl out there who thinks she's alone. Thank you to these brave and talented writers, and hooray for the rest of us, who will see our experiences in every chapter of this important book."
—Sara Shandler, author of the New York Times bestseller Ophelia Speaks
"The honesty and beauty of the heartbreaking, hilarious, and often harrowing stories collected in Red are enough to give you hope for the young women who wrote these marvelous pieces, and for literature, and for us all."
—Francine Prose, author of the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer
"Unsparingly frank and perceptive, the essays in Red take on politics, pop culture, and body image-and, oh yeah, they're written by teenage girls. Long underestimated and undervalued by society, they emerge as literature and society's great hope."
"I was stunned by the speed with which each of these stories pulled me in. . .funny, smart, dark, observant. If Red is any indication, then the kids are alright."
"BOOK OF THE MONTH: Sometimes funny, sometimes emotionally searing-always heartbreakingly honest-this collection of essays by adolescent girls captures what it's like to be a teen today."
"Brilliant-Highbrow: Surprisingly good essays by teenage girls."
—New York Magazine's "Approval Matrix"
"An energizing glimpse of adolescence today. . .one of the closest looks we have at this rising generation. These young women are not only amazingly un-self-conscious and honest but also startlingly aware-of themselves, of their impact, of the world."
"Spread the word: Rosario Dawson digs this collection of 58 essays written by teenage girls."
—US Weekly's "Buzzzz-o-Meter"
"A raw new look at modern adolescent girls. . .The tone is thankfully uncensored, and. . .there's not a patronizing dash of pink or a heart-dotted "i" in sight."
"Fifty-eight teen girl writers are featured in this cool collection, with essays on topics like beauty and body, friends and family, school, love, jobs, and Johnny Depp. (Awesome.) Pick it up and get the chance to meet some amazing people."