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Girls, At Play
Senior Fiction Editor Ronna Wineberg on "Girls, At Play" by Celeste Ng:
In her story, “Girls at Play," Celeste Ng beautifully and unflinchingly ushers the reader into the world of teenage girls, stealing, and random sex. The reader witnesses the initiation of Grace, new to the school, into a group of tough, struggling, cynical middle-school girls. At first small things change for her: she learns to wear make-up, revealing outfits, and then how to steal. The story is written in first person (plural), and the “we” pulled me into the narrative. I felt like both an observer and participant. The trajectory is wrenching to witness: Grace’s loss of innocence. The reader watches, mesmerized and appalled, unable to intercede. I admire the story’s language, honesty, and its lasting, disturbing power. I was thrilled when “Girls at Play” was awarded the Pushcart Prize.
Celeste Ng's debut novel EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, is available from Penguin Press. Her stories and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Subtropics, and elsewhere, and her story "Girls, at Play,"is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Celeste lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, teaches writing at Boston's Grub Street, and is currently at work on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
"Girls, at Play" appears in BLR V10N2 (Fall 2010).
Girls, At Play by Celeste Ng
This is how we play the game: pink means kissing; red means tongue. Green means up your shirt; blue means down his pants. Purple means in your mouth. Black means all the way.