GIRLISH: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home
(Skyhorse, February 2018)
Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key whenever her children give her the opportunity. She grew up flying between her two moms in Rochester, New York, and her father in Anchorage, Alaska. Surprisingly, she did not amass a lifetime supply of frequent flier miles from the experience. She is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 Lara won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review’s Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Polychrome Ink, Hippocampus Magazine, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, ROAR, and The Feminist Wire. Her debut memoir, GIRLISH: GROWING UP IN A LESBIAN HOME, is slated for release February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing.
Lara Lillibridge grew up with two moms—an experience that shaped and scarred her at the same time. Told from the perspective of “Girl,” Lillibridge’s memoir is the no-holds-barred account of childhood in an unconventional household. Personally less concerned with her mother’s sexuality and more with how she fits into a world both disturbed and obsessed with it, Girl finds that, in other people’s eyes, “The most interesting thing about me is not about me at all; it is about my parents.”
It won’t be long before readers realize that “unconventional” barely scratches the surface. In the early years, Girl’s feminist mother reluctantly allows her to play with her favorite Barbies while her stepmother refuses to comfort her when she wakes up from nightmares. She swims naked with her lesbian mother and stepmother in upstate New York. Girl and her brother travel four thousand miles—unaccompanied—to visit their father in rural Alaska, where they sleep in a locked cabin without running water, telephone, or electricity. Raised to be a free spirit by norm-defying parents, Girl has to define her own boundaries as she tries to fit into heteronormative suburban life, all while navigating her mother’s expectations, her stepmother’s mental illness, and her father’s serial divorces.