Rust Belt Femme (preorder)

By Raechel Anne Jolie

One of NPR's "Best Books of 2020" and winner of the 2020 Independent Publisher Awards' Gold Medal for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction, Raechel Anne Jolie's blazing memoir is now available in paperback.

Raechel Anne Jolie’s early life in a working-class Cleveland exurb was full of race cars, Budweiser-drinking men, and the women who loved them. When she was four, her life changed forever when her father came home from work, took the garbage out to the curb, and was hit by a drunk driver, suffering a debilitating brain injury. Rust Belt Femme is the story of her survival. Fearlessly honest, wry, and tender, Jolie digs into both the pain of past traumas and the joy of teenaged discovery to craft a love letter to the brassy, big-haired women who raised her and the 90s alternative culture that shaped her into who she is today: a queer femme with PTSD and a deep love of the Midwest. 

Personal and political; lyrical and fierce, Rust Belt Femme speaks to anyone who was once a misfit kid trying to find their place in the world.

Raechel Anne Jolie received her PhD in Communication Studies with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her writing has been published in Teen Vogue, Bitch Magazine, In These Times, The Baffler, and more. You can find her @reblgrrlraechel or at

Praise for Rust Belt Femme:

"Quite possibly the first book that’s ever made me well up with tears within the first few pages....[Jolie's] story is both remarkable and utterly ordinary; any dreamy kid who grew up broke and weird will see a spark of themselves in this book, which is also why it’s so important."—Kim Kelly, The New Republic

"A sharp coming-of-age portrait." —Kirkus Reviews

"Coming-of-age memoirs work best when the author is unafraid to dig deep into the context of their childhood, as well as the actual events. In her debut memoir, Rust Belt Femme, Raechel Anne Jolie gets it."Jason Heller, NPR

"Jolie’s voice is at once funny and heart-wrenching, putting every reader who wanted to be part of a scene back into their adolescent shoes."—Alicia Kennedy, Tenderly

"Affection for the Midwest shines in tender descriptions that verge on the romantic."Ilona Westfall, Cleveland Magazine

AUGUST | ISBN: 9781953368041 | MEMOIR | PAPERBACK | 5 x 7 | 176 PAGES

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