Clown Girl by Monica Drake
A Novel

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Clown Girl lives in Baloneytown, a seedy neighborhood where drugs, balloon animals, and even rubber chickens contribute to the local currency. Against a backdrop of petty crime, she struggles to live her dreams, calling on cultural masters Charlie Chaplin, Kafka, and da Vinci for inspiration. In an effort to support herself and her layabout performance-artist boyfriend, Clown Girl finds herself unwittingly transformed into a "corporate clown," trapping herself in a cycle of meaningless, high-paid gigs that veer dangerously close to prostitution. Monica Drake has created a novel that riffs on the high comedy of early film stars — most notably Chaplin and W. C. Fields — to raise questions of class, gender, economics, and prejudice. Resisting easy classification, this debut novel blends the bizarre, the humorous, and the gritty with stunning skill.

About Monica Drake

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MONICA DRAKE is the author of Clown Girl (Hawthorne Books), winner of an Eric Hoffer Award and an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award). Her essays and short stories have appeared in a variety of journals, and she is a regular contributor to the Oregonian, the Portland Mercury, and the Stranger (Seattle). Monica has an MFA from the University of Arizona and is currently on the faculty at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Author Residence: Portland, Oregon

Author Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Published August 24, 2010 by Hawthorne Books. 308 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Clown Girl

Entertainment Weekly

The plot points of Monica Drake's Clown Girl are a parade of quirks: Down-and-out clown Nita (stage name: Sniffles) waits for her beloved to return to Baloneytown.

Feb 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Clown Girl: A Novel


Clown Girl lives with her ex-boyfriend and his new muscle-bound mutant girlfriend, trying to make enough money pulling corporate gigs and dodging gropey clown sex maniacs so that she can join her beau, Rex Galore, who has gone off to Clown College.

| Read Full Review of Clown Girl: A Novel

ForeWord Reviews

Nita is a clown whose painted-on grin masks a world of sadness.

Jan 04 2007 | Read Full Review of Clown Girl: A Novel

The Paris Review

He’s worked to forge “a bridge between Eastern and Western forms of clowning.” He’s interested in “the special healing role of the clown around the world” and “the organic link between the clown and the shaman.” I want to build his credibility because that builds mine: I didn’t just meet a stra...

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Clown Girl: A Novel

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