The J Girls: A Reality Show

Coming in June 2022 from Indiana University Press

A HYBRID COLLECTION

Jocelyn, Jennifer, Jodie, 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.

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Winner of the Blue Light Books Prize from Indiana Review

Judge Nandi Comer: "Rochelle Hurt has produced a cinematic anthem, a war cry against gender norms, and a sad reminder of how little has changed for girls traversing the rocky journey into adulthood. The strength of this collection is in the collective experiences where the body becomes an object of desire and the origin of resistance. These poems are unapologetic and tender. Part theater, part screenplay, part poetry, The J Girls is a genre-blending collection demanding the reader see these archetypes as real people with real stories and real unspeakable trauma."

 

POEMS From the J Girls