March 30, 2021
Available for Preorder Now

“Melissa Febos is part poet, part theorist, and all writer. In this lyrical, searching, profound, and personal collection, Febos examines childhood, femaleness, and love in its many forms with a sensuous ferocity that is all her own.”

                  —Ariel Levy

“In this book, Febos proves herself to be one of the great documenters of the terrible and exquisite depths of girlhood.  These essays are moss and iron—hard and beautiful—and struck through with Febos’ signature brilliance and power and grace. An essential, heartbreaking project."

                   —Carmen Maria Machado

“A fuck-all guide to resilience and reclamation, a breathtaking reimagination of who we might be in spite of what we've been told. Girlhood will bring you back to life.”

                   —Lidia Yuknavitch

“Girlhood is an exquisite collection. In lapidary, lucid prose, Melissa Febos dissects the traumas, terrors, and pleasures of the fraught passage from girl to woman. Febos’s insight is devastating, the examinations of her world – from the female body, queerness, consent, slut-shaming, and intimacy – are rigorous and compassionate. This is a book for mothers, daughters, and our deepest selves, a true light in the dark.”

           —Stephanie Danler

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was named a Best Book of 2017 by Esquire, Book Riot, The Cut, Electric Literature, Bustle, Medium, Refinery29, The Brooklyn Rail, Salon, The Rumpus, and others. Her second essay collection, Girlhood, will be published by Bloomsbury on March 30, 2021. A craft book, Body Work, will be published by Catapult in 2022.

The inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary, her work has appeared in publications including The Paris Review, The Sun, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, The Believer, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, The New York Times Book Review, Lenny Letter, The Guardian, Elle, and Vogue. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, and The Center for Women Writers at Salem College and she has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, and Anderson Cooper Live among many others. She is a three-time MacDowell fellow and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation, The BAU Institute at The Camargo Foundation, The Ragdale Foundation, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which named her the 2018 recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award.

She curated the Mixer Reading and Music Series in Manhattan for ten years and served on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts for five. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.



February 9

KINK launch for PEN Out Loud

w/Garth Greenwell, R.O. Kwon, &

Brandon Taylor

8pm EST

February 19

At Home With Literati Bookstore

w/Jenn Shapland

7 p.m. EST

March 6

A Night of "Bad Sex"

w/ Tracy Clark Flory, Roxane Gay, & others

McNally Jackson

7 p.m. EST

March 23

House of Speakeasy

7 p.m. EST

March 26

Prairie Lights

w/Jo Ann Beard

7 p.m. CDT

March 30

GIRLHOOD Launch @ Charis Books & More with Jami Attenberg, Donika Kelly, Grace Lavery, Bassey Ikpi, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Suleika Jaouad, Elissa Washuta, Melissa Broder

7:30 p.m. EST

March 31

Books Are Magic with T Kira Madden 

7 p.m. EST

April 1

Skylight Books with Stephanie Danler

9 p.m. EST

April 6

Harvard Bookstore with ZZ Packer

7 p.m. EST

April 7

Gramercy Books with Kelley Griesmer, CEO of the Women's Fund

Time TBA

April 9

Hugo House

6 p.m. PT

April 13

The Book Stall 

Time TBA

April 14

Green Apple Books & Music with R.O. Kwon

6 p.m. PT

April 15

Solid State Books

7 p.m. EST

April 28

BOMB Magazine with Lilly Dancyger & Forsyth Harmon

Time TBA

April 28-May 2

The Muse and the Marketplace Conference

May 3-May 8

The Loft Literary Center Wordplay

July 14-18

Southampton Writers Conference



For Girlhood inquiries, Emily Fisher: Emily.Fisher [at]


For bookings: Elaine Trevorrow, at EMT Agency: Elaine [at]

Melissa’s agent, Ethan Bassoff, at Ross Yoon Agency: Ethan [at]

Melissa: melissafebos [at]

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