Wednesday, July 8

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Caitlin Moran

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Caitlin Moran reads from How to Build a Girl: A Novel

In conversation with Meredith Goldstein

This event includes a book signing.

$5 tickets on sale now at Harvard.com. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by Caitlin MoranHarvard Book Store welcomes CAITLIN MORAN, author of How to Be a Woman, and Boston Globe columnist MEREDITH GOLDSTEIN for a discussion of Moran’s new-to-paperback novel, How to Build a Girl.

The New York Times bestselling author hailed as “the UK’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire) makes her fiction debut with a hilarious yet deeply moving coming of age novel.

What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Bröntes—but without the dying young bit.

By sixteen, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.


CAITLIN MORANCaitlin Moran was named Columnist of the Year by the British Press Awards in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011 for her work in the Times of London. Her debut book, How to Be a Woman, won the 2011 Galaxy Book of the Year Award and was an instant New York Times bestseller. How to Build a Girl is her first novel since the one she wrote when she was fourteen, which doesn’t count. You can follow Caitlin on Twitter @caitlinmoran.

MEREDITH GOLDSTEINMeredith Goldstein is an advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe. She’s also the author of the novel The Singles, which was released by Penguin/Plume in 2012. Her column Love Letters is a daily dispatch of advice for the lovelorn that gets about 1 million page views every month on Boston.com and runs in the Globe on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Meredith grew up in Maryland, attended Syracuse University, teaches a celebrity journalism class at Boston University, and lives in Roxbury with a carnival-size cotton candy machine that she bought for herself on her 30th birthday.