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Jocelyn, Jodie, Jennifer, Jacqui, Joelle. Ignoring the optimistic advice of elders, these five working-class teens in the Rust Belt band together in their embrace of bad behavior and poor taste as they navigate sexuality and identity with loud-mouthed joy and clear-eyed cynicism.
Winner of the 2021 Blue Light Books Prize, Rochelle Hurt's The J Girls: A Reality Show is a tribute to the grit and glitter of millennial girlhood and a testament to its dangers and traumas. Hurt's creative, genre-bending mix of poetry, fiction, and screenplay brings the girls to life with campy performances of monologues, soap opera clips, mock interviews, talk shows, commercials, and even burlesque. Vulgar, rhapsodic language serves as costume and shield, allowing the J Girls to script their own images and project glowing, outsized versions of themselves into the safe space of the TV screen.
Playful and poignant, The J Girls is a flashy ode to performance and a nostalgic elegy for adolescent friendships.