Serious Girls by Maxine Swann
A Novel

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When her grandmother insists Maya be sent away to boarding school, the sixteen-year-old feels as if her life has turned a new page. Raised in the remote countryside by her emotionally distant hippie-ish mother, Maya finds herself isolated in the all-girl community. When Rea, another outsider, becomes her friend, the two girls tell each other their life stories, and speculate as to what growing up might mean. How do they become "people" with style and character as opposed to school girls?

Their desire to be adults takes them beyond the closed world of the school, into the local town and the city where they experiment--shopping in thrift stores; confronting their fears as they try on new identities; and wondering about sex. Both girls test the precarious line between an emerging sense of self and its total disintegration in the very different relationships from which they eventually escape, wiser and secure once again in their friendship and curiosity about life.

About Maxine Swann

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Maxine Swann 's short story "Flower Children" won the Cohen Award, The O. Henry Award, the Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Short Stories (1998). Serious Girls is her first novel.
Published November 1, 2003 by Picador. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Maya and Roe are both misfits at their posh boarding school in the suburbs of New York City.

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Entertainment Weekly

Maya and Roe, 16-year-old oddballs in their first year at a Northeastern boarding school, spend most of their time together browsing in a local thrift store and wondering ''What makes a person a person?'' They waver between preternatural poise and crippling self-doubt as narrator Maya takes illic...

Nov 14 2003 | Read Full Review of Serious Girls: A Novel

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