The Truth About Fiction

An interview with author Michelle Tea

| April 2006

Michelle Tea left the working-class suburbs of Boston with raw charisma, a poetic voice, and an adventurous spirit to fuel her stories. She landed on San Francisco's queer and literary scenes in the 1990s and came of age in the city's spoken-word community, where she developed her literary style and went on to co-found the Sister Spit Ramblin' Road Show, an all-girl performance group that hit the road in 1997.

At 34, Tea already has written and edited several books, and attracted a loyal fan-base drawn from San Francisco's open mics and spoken-word gatherings. You may not have encountered her work yet, but after picking up her most recent book, and first work of fiction, her distinctive, youthful voice will be difficult to forget. Set against the backdrop of the neon signs and strip-malls of a working-class town, Rose of No Man's Land , (MacAdam Cage) follows the story of Trisha, a thirteen-year-old girl who, after meeting Rose at the local mall where they both work, is thrust into a string of adolescent discoveries. The action takes place predominantly in the span of one day, in which Trisha discovers friendship, drugs, sex, and, consequently, her sexual identity.