Rory Hendrix, the young protagonist of Tupelo Hassman’s debut novel, Girlchild, lives in a trailer park outside Reno at the mercy of a mother who chooses all the wrong men. Told she’s going to grow up to be just like her mom (one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom”), she sets out to prove everyone wrong. Her sole guide to self-improvement? The chipper platitudes of the Girl Scouts Handbook. (Poor Rory, indeed.) Hassman, who graduated from Columbia’s MFA program in 2006, handed in Girlchild as her thesis project. Now her book is finally out and picking up steam with some rave reviews, including one from The New York Times, which said “Hassman is such a poised storyteller that her prose practically struts.” Tonight, she reads at BookCourt.
Thu., March 29, 7 p.m., 2012