Los Angeles, 1985: Reagan is a few months into his second term, the economy is booming: Good morning, America.
But for the teenagers in the suburbs beyond the suburbs of LA, life is more complicated than a campaign slogan. Ed Valencia and his crew are marked out by their Mohawks as troublemakers, but it is the punk scene they inhabit that has given them a grasp of a world beyond Yum Yum Donuts and TV re-runs. Lise Anderson, a thirteen-year-old, longs to be cool, but her friends Trish and Jen seem to be privy to secrets – about fashion, about sex – that nobody will tell her. And Voyd, at fourteen a front-line warrior for the revolutionary right, alone in a house filled with everything he wants and nothing he needs, has devoted himself to the FF gang and the cause of a white nation.
Exurbia tells the story of these three lost souls, and of the intersection and ultimately violent collision of their lives. In haunting, angry and beautiful prose, Molly McGrann explores the margins of 1980s America, and asks questions not only about where we are going, but about how we got here in the first place.
‘Exurbia reads like a companion piece to Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero . . . Full of the right zeitgeisty details and the characters are well drawn’ Metro
‘Gripping, and well-written and staged . . .Beautifully done . . . McGrann shows us something fascinating about teenage behaviour’ Telegraph
‘Molly McGrann paints a disturbingly barren landscape where the kids roam free, the cops are corrupt and the parents are figures of repression or neglect’ New Statesman