Girl Rearing

Girl Rearing is about a mother who was beyond kissing and a father who could not touch her. Girl Rearing is about my sisters who were not my sisters. Girl Rearing is about M. who was me.

Girl Rearing is about women making beds that cannot be unmade. Girl Rearing is about learning posture as if anyone could stand up straight. Girl Rearing is about hearing a voice in which to laugh and cry.


“There are so many superior aspects to this tale; foremost among them is its series of surprises, in form, in image, and even in plot, which takes the plainest of stories—the constricted training of girls—and makes it into something like myth. This book moves on the power of its surprises, and surely on its language as well, which is beautiful.”—Lauren Slater, author of Prozac Diary and Welcome to My Country

Girl Rearing is a quietly subversive memoir by a woman who was almost domesticated. It’s not the surface of her life that’s extraordinary; rather, it is Aldrich’s extraordinary perceptiveness and her wizardry with language that bring us to the true place of wonderment: the white-hot inner life of a girl resisting conscription.”—Dawn Raffel, author of In the Year of Long Division

“Ms. Aldrich knows the existential voids—the mysteries that deliver us to this life and to which we must repair, breathless, horizontal, and remembered. And she understands the attraction of opposites: dancing and weeping, love and heartbreak, wonder and certainty, faith and fear. Hers are sentences so finely wrought in service of a story so worth telling that the enterprise seems a gift.”—Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking