Girlhood

Girlhood

A gripping set of stories about the forces that shape girls and the adults they become. A wise and brilliant guide to transforming the self and our society.

In her powerful new book, critically acclaimed author Melissa Febos examines the narratives women are told about what it means to be female and what it takes to free oneself from them.

When her body began to change at eleven years old, Febos understood immediately that her meaning to other people had changed with it. By her teens, she defined herself based on these perceptions and by the romantic relationships she threw herself into headlong. Over time, Febos increasingly questioned the stories she’d been told about herself and the habits and defenses she’d developed over years of trying to meet others’ expectations. The values she and so many other women had learned in girlhood did not prioritize their personal safety, happiness, or freedom, and she set out to reframe those values and beliefs.

Blending investigative reporting, memoir, and scholarship, Febos charts how she and others like her have reimagined relationships and made room for the anger, grief, power, and pleasure women have long been taught to deny.

Written with Febos’ characteristic precision, lyricism, and insight, Girlhood is a philosophical treatise, an anthem for women, and a searing study of the transitions into and away from girlhood, toward a chosen self.

Title:Girlhood
ISBN:9781635572520
Format Type:

    Girlhood Reviews

  • Adam Dalva

    Really loved this smart, insightful essay collection. I’ve taught “Intrusions,” which is included, since it came out, and the rest of the book lives up to it, forming a cohesive whole....

  • Jami

    A gorgeously written, perfectly calibrated investigation into the traps, paths, and challenges of being female in this world. It's a stunner of a book....

  • Bree Hill

    "I would have liked the movie immeasurably better if, instead of being about a beautiful, smart virgin who acquired an unearned reputation and then cleared her name and bagged the super-nice boyfriend...

  • Carrie

    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this INCREDIBLE book. I had to give myself a few days to even write this review, as the reading experience was so powerful for me. I've read many many books in the l...

  • Sarah Kasbeer

    Everything Melissa Febos writes breaks me open then sews me back up. This collection is stunning and necessary. It named and examined so many experiences I've had growing up female in a patriarchal so...

  • Kelly

    GIRLHOOD is the book I waited for my entire life, words with which to articulate the unnamed perils of being female, being girl, the invisible social structures that altered my life and discolored my ...

  • Jessica

    Magnificent....

  • Beth

    Wow, this was difficult to read - because it was so honest and heartbreaking and REAL. The way Febos fearlessly faces the social conditioning and resulting internal loathing and external danger that m...

  • Natalie

    The best book of 2021.I was a little scared to read this book, because Melissa Febos writes in a way where it feels like the book is reading me too. I should have known better to be scared though. Gir...

  • Abriana

    I don’t even know how to talk about this book. It was brilliant and beautiful, but hard to read because of how much it seemed to reach into me. I will say I struggled with the first couple of essays...