PERSONAL: Female. Education: McKendree College, B.A.
ADDRESSES: Home—New Orleans, LA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Soft Skull Press, Inc., 55 Washington St., Ste. 804, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Manstealing for Fat Girls (novel), Soft Skull Press (Brooklyn, NY), 2005.
Author of fiction zine A Zillion Chronicles of Near Love.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Incinerated, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Michelle Embree's first novel, Manstealing for Fat Girls, is a tale of the difficulties of a quirky misfit sixteen-year-old girl and her eccentric, troubled friends and family in a largely blue-collar suburb of St. Louis in the 1980s. The protagonist, "fat girl" Angie Neuweather, is looking for love and acceptance, but at her high school she gets merciless teasing instead. Her closest friends are Shelby, who has recently come out as a lesbian, and Heather, who has just one breast. Her other schoolmates include drug users and dealers, anorexics, and wealthy youths intent on bringing misery to their fellow students. Her home life is not easy either, due to her sister's angry nature, her mother's ridiculously strict rules, and the presence of the mother's obnoxious boyfriend. Angie "makes her way through adolescent terrors of identity and sexuality," as a Kirkus Reviews contributor put it, as well as incidents of violence, while she eventually blossoms sufficiently to earn the sobriquet "manstealer."
Some critics predicted that certain readers would be attracted to Embree's offbeat characters and sometimes bizarre plot. The novel, with "roots in the punk-lit underground," is "sure to be shoplifted by teen delinquents, but also has a shot at adult cult status," according to the Kirkus Reviews commentator, who praised Embree's handling of class and gender issues. A Publishers Weekly reviewer thought the characters well delineated, if perhaps too numerous, and summed up the book by noting that "Embree has crafted a very sharp look at adolescent longing and angst."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2005, review of Manstealing for Fat Girls, p. 753.
Publishers Weekly, August 15, 2005, review of Manstealing for Fat Girls, p. 31.
Soft Skull Press Web site, http://www.softskull.com/ (October 18, 2005), brief biography.