History Lesson for Girls by Aurelie Sheehan

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In her follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel The Anxiety of Everyday Objects, Aurelie Sheehan presents a moving coming-of-age story set in the disturbingly reckless and often hilariously tacky 1970s. In 1975, Alison Glass, age thirteen, moves to Connecticut with her bohemian parents and her horse, Jazz. Shy, observant, and in a back brace for scoliosis, Alison finds strength in an unlikely friendship with Kate Hamilton, the charismatic but troubled daughter of an egomaniacal New Age guru and his substance-loving wife. Seeking refuge from the chaos in their lives, the girls escape into the world of their horses. Rich in humor and heartbreak, History Lesson for Girls is an elegy to a friendship that meant everything.


About Aurelie Sheehan

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Aurelie Sheehan, the director of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona, has received a Pushcart Prize, a Camargo Fellowship, and the Jack Kerouac Literary Award.
Published July 6, 2006 by Penguin Books. 368 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for History Lesson for Girls

Publishers Weekly

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The quiet pleasures of the pair's private moments clash with increasingly stagy subplots: Alison's persistent fear of undergoing surgery to correct her spine, the over-the-top violence of Kate's drunk, greedy father, and the indiscrete affair between him and Alison's hippie mother.

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Entertainment Weekly

Alternating between the adult Alison's recollections of that year and a historical-fiction story that the girls coauthored for school, History Lesson for Girls is an ambitious but ultimately uneven look at friendship and personal history.

Jul 07 2006 | Read Full Review of History Lesson for Girls


Aurelie Sheehan has written a touching novel about parents, children and family, as seen through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl who does not quite fit in with the cool kids.

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Project MUSE

Narrated from the vantage point of adulthood, the novel unfolds through the eyes of Alison, who vividly recalls 1975, her thirteenth year, "the year we moved to Weston, the year my parents went haywire, the year my back started curving out of control."

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