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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 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.