THE EXENE CHRONICLES
by Camille A. Collins
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Camille A. Collins's lyrical debut novel speaks to the passionate engagement of adolescent girls—with music, with injustice, with love, with life. This is a courageous coming-of-age story, one that poet Nikki Giovanni recommends "sharing with our teenage sons and daughters."
Collins's 1980s southern California set novel is a literary debut that tackles social inequality with poetic riffs and heart-pounding angst.
GENRE: Vintage Young Adult / Multi-culture
Buy link: https://amzn.to/2SfSMIw
Cobblestones, crisscrossed by scarlet rills…
Away from the clean, wide streets of Coronado, downtown San Diego, with its vagrant hotels, Salvation Army treasures, and errant trash tumbling along the gutters, provided Ryan and Lia some undefined relief. The grit egged on their teething pathos, their emerging view of life through some inverted prism, where on the one hand, they believed that in some far-off distance they would attain a sort of middle-class contentment, but for the present, nothing besides a noncommittal flirtation with the dark, baneful, and untoward, procured in the pedestrian way of most fourteen-year- olds (through books, music, and imaginative musings), could create for them a sense of satisfaction.
In order to feed their insatiable quest for all things bleak on a diet more substantial than what Danielle Steel had to offer, the girls’ eighth grade English teacher introduced them to Baudelaire. Whether or not they had really understood The Fountain of Blood was hard to say.
“Romeo and Juliet isn’t so melodramatic,” Ryan murmured reflectively.
“I mean, who wouldn’t die for love? I would…if it came to that.”
“It’s just…I think that Prince song is right: the party’s over in the year 2000. Do you realize we’ll be, like, thirty years old, if we even live to see 2000?”
“Wait. What’s that got to do with anything?” Lia frowned.
“I dunno, it’s just … I’d rather die young for love instead of living without it, not knowing what might happen. Have you ever seen those warships down at the end of Palm Avenue? I hate them.”
Lia paused to consider Ryan’s words.
“You’re right. I never thought about it that way … but you’re absolutely right. I guess I’d prefer it that way too.”
Apparently, what Mrs. Buchanan had offered as a cautionary tale had suffered gross misinterpretation.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Camille A. Collins has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The African-American National Biography, published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press; in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University, and other places.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B07HGLR7FN/
Publisher Author Page: http://www.brainmillpress.com/the-exene-chronicles/