The cited soundtrack to Girl in Need of a Tourniquet is the soundtrack to my own coming out in the early '90s, minus the borderline personality disorder. It is the shaved-headed power of Sinead O'Connor, the burning passion of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the bi-ambiguity of Ani DiFranco, and the Juliette-Lewis-in-a-mental-hospital video drama of Melissa Etheridge. An angst-filled mix-tape of a story, Johnson's memoir serves as a beautifully crafted prose poem about an absent mother, unrequited love, sexual identity before the L Word, and mental illness, begging the question of where sane (or youth and a lack of consequential thinking) ends and crazy begins.
Friday, October 15, 2010
This is the best review of the book so far. Thank you Kathy Wise! You are so right - the book IS a mix tape, a prose poem, and a big open question about the line between sane and insane. I am honored to be a staff pick at Shelf Unbound.