HOW TO BUILD A GIRL BY CAITLIN MO­RAN

Elle (Canada) - - Radar -

Yes, there’s a lot of mas­tur­ba­tion in this Brit’s novel about a teenage girl in ’90s Eng­land, and, no, she’s not sorry about it. “It’s not ac­ci­den­tal,” says Mo­ran, whose first book was the hit fem­i­nist man­i­festo How to Be a Woman. “I re­mem­ber be­ing a teen and read­ing all these nov­els with teenage hero­ines and won­der­ing ‘Where’s all the wank­ing?’” Mo­ran’s comin­gof-age tale traces the me­ta­mor­pho­sis of poor over­weight Jo­hanna Mor­ri­gan as she trans­forms into glam­orous man hunter “Dolly Wilde.” Al­though it’s very funny, it’s also deeply touch­ing. “I wanted to write a book about all the things I wish I’d known when I was that age,” she ex­plains. It’s part of her larger mis­sion as a writer: to ex­plore women’s is­sues that aren’t nor­mally writ­ten about (like be­ing ashamed about how badly they want to be beau­ti­ful, hav­ing pe­ri­ods and, yes, mas­tur­bat­ing).

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