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Glimmering Girls: A Novel of the Fifties
by Merrill Joan Gerber
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005
Cloth: 978-0-299-21060-1
Library of Congress Classification PS3557.E664G58 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Glimmering Girls tells the story of three extraordinary American women during a time of sexual and cultural repression. Francie and her friends Liz and Amanda are college students, coming of age intellectually, emotionally, and physically in a setting where men were forbidden entry to women's dorm rooms, and women were locked into those rooms after curfew. College life for women was governed by one simple, cardinal rule: Marry Before Graduation or Be Lost Forever. Any thirst for adventure was supposed to be satisfied by the occasional panty raid. Francie and friends, however, find all this hard to swallow, and they resist their appointed futures as elementary school teachers and holders of the precious "MRS" degree. Doing the unthinkable, the three move off campus to live in a house with three men-Liz's boyfriend and two handsome, mysterious Southern twins who fix foreign cars in a shop off campus. There the young women's rebellion against expectations deepens, and they begin the real-world education of pursuing their dreams. Francie yearns to be a writer, and is encouraged by her Russian literature professor. Then she meets Joshua, a talented and dedicated piano student, who presents the ultimate challenge: does she maintain her "virtue," or give in to her sexual desires, finally breaking fully free of repressive "respectability"? Glimmering Girls follows Francie, Liz, and Amanda through this and other discoveries and adventures. Ultimately, each finds a way to live fully at a time when their entire culture seemed arrayed against them.

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