Siri is a legacy admission, rich and spoiled and destined to flunk out of her freshman year at college. Esther, her roommate, is a scholarship student from humble means, brilliant and driven to succeed.
Brought together by chance, the girls soon become partners in a struggle to find their way in a world where neither Esther’s brains nor Siri’s beauty is enough. Never having been forced to work hard at anything, Siri must rely on Esther to teach her to learn and attend class. But as Siri wakes from her dream world to discover the life of the mind, Esther begins shedding her rational bonds to explore the mysteries of the soul. For both, some of the most devastating lessons in the attainment of worldly knowledge come from love.
Deadpan funny and bittersweet, A Bad and Stupid Girl is above all else a moving portrait of two friends helping each other to uncover the potential splendor of their lives.
Jean McGarry is the author of six previous books of fiction: Airs of Providence, The Very Rich Hours, The Courage of Girls, Home at Last, Gallagher's Travels, and Dream Date. She is a professor of fiction at The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. A Bad and Stupid Girl is her third novel.
“Jean McGarry's novel is a lovely locket of a book, with the picture inside not at all faded. Focused in close-up, succinct and convincing, it's a story about friendship and maturation, and about how our studies, alone, do not define us.”
“Jean McGarry’s A Bad and Stupid Girl is an uncommonly Good and Bright-Indeed Novel, sharply written from start to finish and entertaining as Hell.”
“Everything in life is arbitrary yet must be over-determined in literature. Jean McGarry knows how to tell a persuasive tale illuminating these truths.”