Poet Jamie Hood’s how to be a good girl, from Grieveland Press, comes out on December 8, and I’m already getting excited. A hybrid of diary, poetry, fragments, and criticism, how to be a good girl grapples with canonical texts and leaps time, place and theme to cover contemporary constructions of womanhood through the specificity of one woman’s experience with femininity, sex, and surviving trauma. Said Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby, “how to be a good girl is an utterly compelling blend of lyricism, diary, and criticism that has become my go-to for invoking the brilliant trans-eye view of the agonies and pleasures of heterosexuality. Hood gives voice to ideas I don’t know I need until she speaks.” And the cover art, by Emilia Olsen, renders the book itself an art object.
It’s been a quick turn-around from conception to publication—Hood wrote most of the book in the first COVID-19 lockdown—but the book felt ready: said Hood to Emma Specter in Vogue, “It just came out in a flood . . . [I was] dealing with a lot of ideas I had been navigating and wrestling with for the past year . . . [but] I know this book wouldn’t have been possible without, you know, being stuck at home and away from everyone for an extended period of time.”
how to be a good girl is currently sold out, but orders resume on release day—you can order your copy here. In the meantime, check out these excerpts from the text, which Grieveland shared on their Twitter: