Curran, Colleen 1974–
Curran, Colleen 1974–
PERSONAL: Born 1974.
CAREER: Author, editor, and educator. Richmond.com, associate editor; James River Writers, executive director. Creative writing instructor.
Whores on the Hill (novel), Vintage Contemporaries (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor of stories to Jane, Richmond, and Meridian, and to the anthology Dictionary of Failed Relationships: 26 Stories of Love Gone Wrong, Three Rivers Press, 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A collection of short stories.
SIDELIGHTS: Colleen Curran's 2005 debut novel, Whores on the Hill, details the experiences of a trio of girls in an all-girl's high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Curran herself grew up. Describing this first work in Richmond.com, Katherine Houstoun called it an "emotionally-charged novel [that] depicts female teenagedom in vivid coloration, ranging from the vibrant firecracker hues of high school parties, youthful freedom and first loves to the darker shades of suicide, depression and betrayal." Jennon Bell, writing in On Milwaukee online, termed the book a "no-holds-barred account of what it is like to be 15 and ready to take over the world, plaid skirt and all."
Curran attended a Catholic high school, and her trio of fifteen-year-old fictional friends do so as well. Thisbe is a transfer student to Sacred Heart Holy Angels, and quickly becomes friends with two other girls, Juli and Astrid. Together they sport punk attire and experience firsts such as first love, first kisses, and even first orgasms. There is an edgier side to their lives as well, when love turns violent and emotions curdle into psychological distress.
Curran wrote her book, as she has noted on her home page, to give a voice to teenagers who are entering sexuality and the world at large. Her title comes from what she discovered was an almost universal negative manner of describing students at all-girls high schools. While Bell found the novel "lightning fast and sexu-ally charged," a critic for Kirkus Reviews had further praise, dubbing Whores on the Hill an "arresting first novel," and one that is "quick-moving" as well as "cleanly written." Overall, this same critic deemed Whores on the Hill "a promising start."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Whores on the Hill, p. 245.
Publishers Weekly, January 24, 2005, Natalie Danford, "This Is Your … Novel?," p. 114.
Beatrice, http://www.beatrice.com/ (June 21-26, 2005), "Author2Author: Colleen Curran and Martha O'Connor."
Colleen Curran Home Page, http://www.colleencurran.com (October 5, 2005).
On Milwaukee.com, http://www.onmilwaukee.com/ (May 16, 2005), Jennon Bell, "Curran's Novel Traces Milwaukee's Heavenly Heathens," review of Whores on the Hill.
Richmond.com, http://www.richmond.com/ (May 10, 2005), Katherine Houstoun, "Girls Gone Wild."