Big Girl Small is a novel for women of all ages; for every girl who is, or was, a teenager. Everybody needs a friend like Judy. She is whip-smart, hilarious, and her story is so real. She's a wonderful singer, full of big dreams for a big future—and she's a dwarf. But why is she hiding out in a seedy motel on the edge of town? Who are her friends? And why can't she face her family?
Big Girl Small is a gut-wrenching teen-tragedy told with laugh-out-loud humour. Every reader will recognise the anxiety of trying to be different, to be the same, to find out who you are and what your hormones are doing, and what you might want to do in the future. Most of us don't really know, and this brave novel shows us that's just fine.
From Rachel DeWoskin:
Reminiscent of Prep and Middlesex, the novel is told by Judy Lohden, a teenage girl with a big singing talent who is accepted to an elite high school of the dramatic arts—and who, as a dwarf, or little person, is keenly aware of how difficult it will be to have the same life as her new friends. As she observes, she’d probably make the cut for American Idol except for the fact that ‘Simon Cowell laughs at all the retards and deformed people.’ Soon she finds herself drawn into a scandal that will rock the school, her family, and their hometown.
So I wrote the book, and it turned out to be a story not so much about being a dwarf, but one about being a teenage girl. Because I think most teenagers feel small; Judy has an external manifestation of an internal feeling we all have.
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Comments about Big Girl Small:
Yet another book describing a typical teenage school drama that involves tapped sex and scandal; but this time with the attempt to give it a new flavour by putting a young girl, living with dwarfism, in the middle of the scandal. Half way through it I started to skim through just to find out how it ended.
A young writer who unwittingly shot to fame as the star of the top rating soap show in China, Foreign Babes in Beijing, DeWoskin is now notorious across China as the show's American vixen. She subsequently went on to write a clever and often hilarious memoir of the same name (which I can personally vouch for) about her time in China which she is currently co-writing for screen adaptation.
Now we have a chance to read her novel, Big Girl Small. Darkly funny and moving (perhaps a Middlesex for this decade), it is told from the perspective of an extraordinary girl named Judy Lohden who just happens to be a dwarf.
This book daringly takes on sexual politics, physical beauty and violence and succeeds in giving readers a nuanced and provocative treatment without descending into pedantics or hysteria.
Read our interview with the very engaging, very interesting DeWoskin, here.
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 2nd May 2011
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 0.205