Mary Ann Marchadesch takes a look at what it means to be an Astigirl in this review of the book by Tweet Sering.
The 19th century American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau went into the woods “because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”[note] With Thoreau and her Astigirl muse, Angelina Jolie, for inspiration, Sering ruthlessly (yet lovingly) dissects family relationships, past romances, and childhood ideals; she re-examines her adolescence through the filter of ten or so years; she embarks on new and terrifying adventures (entering writing contests, auditioning for theatre roles… energy therapy? To willingly subject yourself to that takes some inner fortitude. Or maybe that’s just me) and comes out not only more aware of her limitations, but also of her strengths. With each essay in the collection Sering deftly and delicately skewers long-buried doubts and insecurities and by “going back to zero”, as she puts it, creates a new beginning for herself.
Basically, what Astigirl is saying, with lovely bits of humor and touches of irreverence, is this: I chose to do this, I saw it through, I came out of it not necessarily unscathed, but definitely more aware of who I really am and what I really want to do. The unspoken challenge for the reader is: Are you astig enough to do that, too?
Originally published on Sex and Sensibilities.