Wild Girls: A Novel (Paperback)

Wild Girls: A Novel By Erica Abeel Cover Image
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Three college friends from the 50s blaze their own path in love and work, braving the stifling conventions of the age, and anticipating the social thaw that would arrive ten years later. These “wild girls” pay heavy penalties for living against the grain, but, over the years, rebound and re-set their course, drawing strength from their friendship. The novel follows them from an elite northeastern college, to Paris with Allen Ginsberg, to New York’s avant-garde scene in the early sixties, to a mansion in Newport, to the slopes of Zermatt, to Long Island’s Gold Coast, as it celebrates the nimbleness and vitality of women who defied an entire culture to forge their own journey.

"It’s six A.M. in a Paris just coming awake and she's about to climb to the room of Allen Ginsberg.  She pushes open the door of the Beat Hotel, its squawk denting the morning stillness.  No sign of the concierge.  Too early maybe?  In the ancient, dank stairwell she’s driven back by odors -- from sinks on the landings doubling as pissoirs, “Turkish traps” on little rises off the steps, last night’s cooking cut with sweet ghosts of grass – all of it finished with a grandaddy note that might be rising from cisterns beneath Paris, maybe from the goddamn Romans.  Breathing through her mouth, she cranes up at a nautilus of stairs spiraling to a skylight.  Hard to imagine Puccini’s honey-throated Bohemians here."

About the Author

ERICA  ABEEL, a college professor, former dancer, journalist and film critic, has published 5 books, including the novel Women Like Us, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. Living in New York City and based in New York and Long Island, she loves to write about warrior women who lived against the grain before the upheavals of the 60s.

Praise For…

“…Laced with gleeful, biting commentary. Toward her three protagonists, she is unsparing and compassionate in perfect proportion. Those who haven’t tried her yet—women and men of all ages—should give her a try.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“This libidinous period novel follows three budding feminists through an elite women’s college, the New York art scene, and Allen Ginsberg’s bed, as they redefine womanhood for themselves and future generations.”
Oprah Magazine

“With literary finesse, the novel leaps through its wild moments with ease.”

"Young American women defying cultural expectations and inventing their own lives is one of my favorite subjects—and I am not alone. Erica Abeel's Wild Girls tells the delicious, page-turning story of three very different but equally thoughtful rebels from 1950s America, embarking on adventures that involve everyone from Allen Ginsburg to Yoko Ono . . . This book will bathe the reader in a time and place in which female self-invention was never more important, exhilarating, and challenging. With feminism a passionate concern of today's young female journalists and Hollywood actresses and directors, I can hardly think of a  timelier read."
—Sheila Weller
author of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon

The Wild Girls will resonate with anyone who witnessed the cultural revolution of the 1950s and 60s, or wishes that they had. I loved it.”

"With Wild Girls , Erica Abeel tells a story very much in the tradition of Mary McCarthy, Rona Jaffe and yes, even Jacqueline Susann. What her smart and accessible novel shows is the underside of bohemianism: that it rarely has worked for women. Wild Girls brings us females who long for personal freedom, but who must struggle for it against both the mainstream and the counter-culture. This is the hidden story of the beats and the hipsters and its one worth telling."
—Claudia Dreifus
journalist, author

Wild Girls is a novel about a few women rebels who came of age in the 50s with the Beats in Paris, Allen Ginsberg (when he was still sleeping with girls), and a Yoko Ono-based character in early 60s New York. More importantly, Erica Abeel IS a ‘Wild Girl’—she lived the life, these are her friends, and this is an insider’s peek into that world.”
—Kevin Kwan
author of Crazy Rich Asians

“Erica Abeel writes with the eye of Margaret Mead and the soul of Tolstoy. In stunning and electric prose she gives us captivating – thrillingly flawed – characters and we embrace them, even when it might be wiser to flee. Along the way, she shows us the brilliance and devastation of love; the hidden geometry of complicated marriages; and the interwoven force fields of deep friendships.”
—Grace Dane Mazur
author of Hinges
Product Details
ISBN: 9781680031034
ISBN-10: 1680031031
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication Date: November 14th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English