Karen Green & Tristan Taomino (eds) – A Girl’s Guide To Taking Over The World: Writings From The Girl Zine Revolution (New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1997)

In no way setting out to provide a historical background or history of girl zines, or women and self publishing in a wider context, this book provides a snapshot of nineties U.S girl zines.

It was published at an interesting moment in time, at a point when girl zines had been flourishing for nearly ten years, and when the internet was beginning to have an impact on zines, and on forms of expression and society in general.

Aside from a foreword and introduction of sorts, both exhorting the social importance, power, and potential of zines – especially for teenage girls, the book is made up of pieces from zines, collected together and organised into sections:

  • Slumber Part: Friends, secrets, sex
  • Mirror, Mirror: Body image, health
  • The Parent Trap: Parents, siblings, family
  • Dear Diary: Personal stories
  • Fan Club: Music, stars, idols
  • Princess Phone: Gossip, letters, technology
  • Runaway Daughters and Rebel Girls: Politics, anger, power

It concludes with details on the contributors and a girl zines reference guide.

There’s a good variety of voices across the chapters, some now well known (Lisa Crystal Carver, Sara Marcus, Evelyn McDonnell, Tammy Rae Carland) some less so, just as some of the publications (Bust, Doris, Ben Is Dead) are more familiar than others. As always with zines, the raw intelligence is what shines through, along with the independence, and the insights into particular generation in a particular country at a particular moment in time.

For those seeking to explore U.S girl zine culture in the nineties, and by its inexplicable link to it, riot grrrl, this is a good place to start.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mohammad Steidinger
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 20:35:30

    I dont even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!


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