A Misfit's Manifesto by Donna Gaines
The Spiritual Journey of a Rock-and-Roll Heart

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Donna Gaines is the Margaret Mead of heavy metal, a turnpike intellectual, a walking, talking oxymoron. A Misfit's Manifesto is the story of her wild-in-the-burbs odyssey--from yeshiva girl to street-punk sociologist. The only child of a glamorous big-band vocalist, Donna had three fathers, including the "Kishka King of Brooklyn." Fat, lonely, and depressed, she found truth and beauty in the least likely places. Wandering the craggy terrain of Rockaway Beach, Queens, Donna embarked upon a path to enlightenment: sex, drugs, rock & roll, sociology, cosmetology, True Love, the occult, tattoos, science fiction, pizza, guns, comic books, and surfing--by Web or by sea. "Popular culture, my unholy redeemer," she proclaims.

It was Donna's consuming love of the "profane world" that gave her the courage to be, buffering her against relentless sorrow and self-loathing. Dignity, joy, and communion came not from family, organized religion, or mandatory schooling, but in the sound of doo-wop, then surf music, hard rock, punk, and grindcore. "For most of my life," she writes, "music was the only way to connect that wouldn't eventually kill me."

Through all the ripped nights of binge-drinking in rock clubs, Donna Gaines became an acclaimed author and an expert on teen suicide. In an age of conformity and censorship, Dr. Gaines defends popular culture as a powerful spiritual force, a vibrant, valid connection to God. This is an outcast's journey into the black-hole sun, where Divine love and light are found--even in Ramones songs. Donna Gaines has written a work of dazzling originality and iconoclasm, an inspiration for misfits everywhere.

About Donna Gaines

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Donna Gaines is the author of Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia’s Dead End Kids. She has written for Rolling Stone, Ms., The Village Voice, Spin, and Newsday, and contributed to numerous trade and scholarly collections. She has a doctoral degree in sociology and has taught at Barnard College and the New School University. Dr. Gaines lives in New York City. For more information about the author, go to www.donnagaines.com.
Published March 4, 2003 by Villard. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Veteran Village Voice writer Gaines (Teenage Wasteland, not reviewed) describes herself as “a walking, talking oxymoron .

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Publishers Weekly

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Equally dated is Gaines's writing style, which alternates between beat-style ramblings (on seeing Led Zeppelin: "Mother and father, militia and messiah—all in a freshly squeezed lemonade dripping down [lead singer Robert] Plant's thighs") and academese (on a first love: "The linear collapsed in t...

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