New York 

Represent: Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang- Joyce Carol Oates

The narrator Maddy takes us on a journey through her teenage years by reminiscing her experiences with Foxfire. The 5 girls short lives have been riddled with abuse, addiction. & absent parents. These circumstances and attending the same school eventually bring them together to form a girl gang. Their activities begin with small scale vandalism but soon things escalate to violence, theft and finally a kidnapping which results in an accidental death. Expansion and jail time ultimately lead to the gangs demise about 3 years later. 

Set in the small fictional town of Hammond in the 1950’s, you can’t help but feel sorry for the girls despite their actions. You can tell they’re desperate to escape their home lives and the dead end town that they’ve been ‘brought up’ in. They speak of traumatic events with a startling emptiness but contain huge amounts of compassion for each other and their new found ‘family’. 

I find it interesting that the writers of the article chose this book to represent NY state rather than something associated to New York City. We have to remind ourselves that NY state is more apple growing and farming than skyscrapers and tourists after all. 

Most Read: The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee– Sarah Silverman

This book was hilarious and rightly so. Sarah Silverman for those who don’t know- is a comedian, writer & actress. She excels on controversial subjects like racism, sexism and religion. Her career began by handing out flyers for a comedy club on a dodgy corner of New York. These days she has produced her own show (The Sarah Silverman Program), has starred in various movies and has made appearances on the Saturday Night Live show.

I was unsure what to make of this book at first. The title doesn’t give out the best impression to begin with, the praise for the book was written by children aged 2-5 and the introduction of herself was..well, over personal at best. However I thoroughly enjoyed the quirky anecdotes she indulges and her blunt, crude writing style. She’s so honest about everything in her life, from her fashion fails to drug related incidents to the ups & downs of her career.

Now I’ve finished the book, I’m keen to find some of her stand up!