"A sharp coming-of-age portrait." -- Kirkus Reviews
Raechel Anne Jolie
March 10, 2020
Hardcover; 150 pages; 5" x 7"
Raechel Anne Jolie’s early life in a working-class Cleveland exurb was full of race cars, Budweiser-drinking men covered in car grease, and the women who loved them. After her father came home from his third-shift job, took the garbage out to the curb and was hit by a drunk driver, her life changed.
Raechel and her mother struggled for money: they were evicted, went days without utilities, and took their trauma out on one another. Raechel escaped to the progressive suburbs of Cleveland Heights, leaving the tractors and ranch-style homes home in favor of a city with vintage marquees, music clubs, and people who talked about big ideas. It was the early 90s, full of Nirvana songs and chokers, flannel shirts and cut-off jean shorts, lesbian witches and local coffee shops.
Rust Belt Femme is the story of how these twin foundations—rural Ohio poverty and alternative 90s culture—made Raechel into who she is today: a queer femme with PTSD and a deep love of the Midwest.
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, and more. You can find her @reblgrrlraechel or at www.raechelannejolie.com.
Praise for Rust Belt Femme:
"Raechel Anne Jolie harnesses the interwoven beauty and trauma of coming of age femme in a tough part of our broken country. Compassionate and political, queer and punk and angry, Rust Belt Femme shows with grace and grit how community can save your life." -- Michelle Tea, author of How to Grow Up: A Memoir
"Rust Belt Femme is a brilliant mixed tape of a memoir, a love song to the family and friends, the songs and sacred places, that helped Raechel Anne Jolie grow into the fierce thinker and passionate writer she is. This miraculous little book manages to plumb the depths of poverty, trauma, punk rock, maternal devotion, young love, and queer identity in language that is lyric and precise. I was blown away. You will be too." -- Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak and Against Football
"With Rust Belt Femme, Raechel Anne Jolie unveils a crystal ball, releasing a vivid love letter to her past, her mother, herself, and to Cleveland. Her clarity about how she became who she is takes us through an iconic time we may all have experienced, no matter where we are from. Her stunning writing [alone] makes me want to become a better writer." -- Iliana Regan, author of Burn the Place
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