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Nerves Out Loud

Critical Moments in the Lives of Seven Teen Girls

edited by Susan Musgrave

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girls & women, women's studies, women authors
list price: $12.95
also available: Hardcover
published: 2001
publisher: Annick Press
imprint: Dog House Books

When something major occurs in your life, you are never the same again. In Nerves Out Loud, seven women writers share pivotal moments from their teen years, concentrating on an event or series of events that changed their lives and turned them in a new direction. By telling their stories passionately and fearlessly, these authors encourage young women everywhere to grab their youth and their sense of self and hold on tight as they examine who they are.

Told in each woman's unique voice, these stories are conveyed sometimes with humor and sometimes with terror, but each with a sense of urgency and honesty. After the Flood - Melanie Little Melanie's youth has been spent under the enormous pressures of competitive figure skating. When stress leads her to quit, she faces disappointment from her parents, a sense of failure within herself, and the deep emptiness that comes when something that has taken up your whole life is suddenly gone. Fourteen Turns - Carellin Brooks In a world of adults, Carellin is faced with a trade-off between a comfortable home and a foster father who bombards her with sexual advances. She struggles to keep both her body and her sense of self safe. Will You Kiss Me? - Marnie Woodrow Desperate to care about girly things, Marnie believes that her urge to kiss girls is strange and unusual. When her best friend hands her a note, Marnie realizes that she isn't alone and experiences the tremendous sense of freedom that comes from understanding and accepting oneself. Home - Madeleine Thein Caught in a clash of cultures and family disharmony, leaving is a reality in Madeleine's home. In the middle of the night, in anger, across the seas, one family member after another disappears, yet left at the center, strong and constant, her mother remains. Nerves Out Loud - M.K. Quednau Within the realities of domestic violence Marion summons the courage to survive tragedy and to find her voice through writing. The Skinny One - Karen Rivers Filled with a power that comes from denying herself, Karen wages an incredible, angry battle within as she tries to reach elusive and unrealistic goals that she has set for herself and her body. Going Crazy, Wanna Come? - Susan Musgrave With her trademark humor, Susan invites readers into her wild teen years on the run -- from school, to California, from a mental hospital. With the help of other writers she realizes she isn't crazy -- she's a poet.


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Contributor notes

Susan Musgrave is a poet, novelist, children's writer, essayist, and columnist. Her home is on Vancouver Island with her two daughters.


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Editorial Reviews

No-holds barred, honest writing.

— Toronto Star

The seven stories collected here have the power to keep young readers engaged by confronting formerly taboo subjects ... With their honest depiction of subjects holding high interest for teenage girls, these seven stories offer excellent doors into books for reluctant readers. Written with consistently high literary quality, all seven stories deserve attention from those seeking excellence in YA writing.

— Kirkus Reviews

An amazing collection of stories ... poignant, straightforward, and brutally honest.

— Kliatt

The selections are varied, but all are gutsy reminiscences of what it is to be young and female.

— Booklist

Faint-at-heart selectors will likely run from this splendid title for its authors have all done "bad" things. Sadly, such unnecessarily cautious adult behaviour will deny today's teen girls the opportunity to meet the seven "girls" whose true and non-preachy stories contradict the adolescent egocentric claims that "no one has ever experienced what I'm experiencing" and "no one has ever felt what I am feeling!" Best of all, each of these in-print girls, now women, is more than just a survivor of her experience. Parents and teachers would also be well served by spending reflective time with Nerves Out Loud. Hopefully, the publication of this book will spark the production of a companion piece focusing on teen males. Highly Recommended.

— Canadian Materials

Real-world stories ... A powerful look back by women who made it through.

— Publishers Weekly

Honest and straightforward, the stories get to the heart of the matter in clear and concise prose. The writing is passionate and compelling, pulling readers into the lives of these strong, yet vulnerable people. The selections deal with hard, real-life issues, but they convey hope and suggest the possibility that there are better tomorrows.

— School Library Journal
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About the Author

Susan Musgrave

Susan Musgrave is a critically acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist, columnist, reviewer, editor and non-fiction writer. She has been nominated, and has received awards, for her poetry, fiction, non-fiction, personal essays and children's writing, as well as for her work as an editor.
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