VIDA Reads with Writers – Michelle Tea!

What are you reading on the subway or in the waiting room today?

What I’m reading, specifically in the morning drinking coffee while my toddler watches Doc McStuffins and plays with Legos, is Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl.

What book popped for you in 2015?

In 2015 I was lucky to read an advanced copy of Sarah Schulman’s The Cosmopolitans, and it BLEW ME AWAY. So masterful and engaging. It’s a real triumph. Also triumphant was Miranda July’s The First Bad Man, which I gave as gifts all year after reading it. It moved me so profoundly. What an incredible, surprising, delightful, emotional book.

Whose words do you return to regularly?

Regularly I return to Eileen Myles. Her work in so many ways taught me how to write, and when I want to connect with the sort of core, or heart of my writing self her work takes me there always.

Is there an author you can’t wait to read next?

I just received a copy of Lindy West’s Shrill, and I am really excited to get into it. I also picked up a copy of Jerry Stahl’s I, fatty at a book shop over the weekend, and I’m looking forward to reading that, too; I love Jerry Stahl. My son got me the giant Raymond Pettibon book for Mother’s Day so that beast is waiting for me to crack into it also.

What are you working on now? What can VIDA fans look forward to from you next?

Presently I am working on a tarot book, Modern Tarot, that will be out sometime next year on Harper/Elixir. I’m also writing piece for California Sunday Magazine about the rise and fall of SF HAGS, a punk dyke gang who ran around San Francisco in the 90s. It’s very close to my heart and I’m almost scared to write it because the cultural stakes feel high, representing these important, largely forgotten and misunderstood people.

In September I have a book, Black Wave, coming out on Feminist Press. It’s my favorite thing I ever wrote – sprawling and experimental, it deal with addiction, the stunting effects of coming up queer, poverty, love and the apocalypse.


031d732a-2f52-4928-97da-cc6e22677436Michelle Tea is the author of nine books of memoir, fiction and poetry. She has edited anthologies on class, fashion, personal narrative and queer fiction. She founded RADAR Productions, Sister Spit, Sister Spit Books/City Lights, and Mutha Magazine. She blogged about getting pregnant in the column Getting Pregnant with Michelle Tea on, and has written for Harpers, Cosmopolitan, n+1, Marie Clare, The Believer, Buzzfeed, and other print and web publications. She curates the Amethyst Edition series at Feminist Press.