Walsh, Marissa 1972- (Marissa "Mitzy" Walsh)
Walsh, Marissa 1972- (Marissa "Mitzy" Walsh)
Born 1972. Education: Smith College, B.A., 1994.
Home—New York, NY.
Author and editor. Former children's book editor, New York, NY; instructor at Gotham Writers' Workshop.
American Idol: The Search for a Superstar—The Official Book, Bantam (New York, NY), 2002.
(As Marissa "Mitzy" Walsh; with Matt "Johnnie" Walker) Tipsy in Madras: A Complete Guide to '80s Preppy Drinking, including Proper Attire, Cocktails for Every Occasion, the Best Beer, the Right Mixers, and More!, Perigee (New York, NY), 2004.
(Editor) Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything: The Jealousy Book, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2006.
Girl with Glasses: My Optic History (memoir), Simon Spotlight Entertainment (New York, NY), 2006.
A Field Guide to High School (novel), Delacorte (New York, NY), 2007.
(Editor) Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?, Clarion (New York, NY), 2008.
Marissa Walsh is the author and editor of a number of books for young adults, including A Field Guide to High School, her debut novel. In Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything: The Jealousy Book, a collection of essays, short stories, and poems concerning the "green-eyed monster," Walsh includes works by such authors as Jaclyn Moriarty, E. Lockhart, and Susan Juby. "I Think They Got Your Numbah," a tale by Siobhan Adcock, centers on a girl who longs to throw a huge birthday party to impress her friends, and "A Genius for Sauntering," a short story by Thatcher Heldring that depicts a friendship which dissolves after the purchase of a car. Reviewing Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything in Booklist, Frances Bradburn stated that Walsh's selections provide "the right mix of situations and characters to make readers slightly uncomfortable." School Library Journal contributor Rhona Campbell described the volume as "an entertaining read and a good invitation to introspection," and a critic in Kirkus Reviews remarked that "the pieces are well-written and entertaining, and the collection is cohesively crafted."
In Girl with Glasses: My Optic History, Walsh presents a series of essays that chronicle her experiences with a variety of eyeglasses, from clunky monstrosities to chic designer specs. According to Memoirville contributor Rachel Kramer Bussel, Walsh "names each pair (‘The Too Cool for School Pair,’ ‘The If You Can Make It There Pair’) and guides us through various schools, jobs, apartments, and relationships, where how she was seen was just as important as her own vision." Originally planned as a work of nonfiction, Girl with Glasses evolved into something much more personal, Walsh remarked to Bussell. "It became this timeline, the chronology of my eyewear," the author stated. "It became clear that each pair did represent that time in my life so there could be a larger discussion of what was going on for me, that could be universal…." Wearing eyeglasses, Walsh continued, is "a form of self-expression, because there is this stereotype about women who wear glasses as being either prudish or uptight or smart and certainly, as with every stereotype, it comes out of some truth." She added, "Women who choose to wear glasses are working against that stereotype. ‘It's okay if you think I'm smart because I am,’ and I think that's interesting that people are just embracing it now and trying to own it more."
A Field Guide to High School, a work of young adult fiction, centers on the bond between two vastly different siblings. Andie, a high-school-freshman-to-be, discovers a handwritten guidebook left behind by Yalebound older sister Claire that is intended to help Andie navigate the treacherous waters at prestigious Plumstead Country Day School. With her best friend, Bess, Andie pours through the manual, noting what to wear, who to meet, and how to be successful. The "book-within-the-book idea is an interesting one," a contributor in Kirkus Reviews stated, and "Claire's voice is witty and wry and easy to read," School LibraryJournal reviewer Emily Garrett commented. Filled with pop culture references, A Field Guide to High School, "is cute and trendy," Janis Flint-Ferguson remarked in Kliatt.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Walsh, Marissa, Girl with Glasses: My Optic History, Simon Spotlight Entertainment (New York, NY), 2006.
Booklist, February 1, 2006, Frances Bradburn, review of Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything: The Jealousy Book, p. 45; June 1, 2007, Heather Booth, review of A Field Guide to High School, p. 57.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2006, review of Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything, p. 90; July 15, 2007, review of A Field Guide to High School.
Kliatt, July, 2006, Olivia Durant, review of Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything, p. 31; July, 2007, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of A Field Guide to High School, p. 21.
Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2006, review of Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything, p. 58; August 6, 2007, review of A Field Guide to High School, p. 190.
School Library Journal, April, 2006, Rhona Campbell, review of Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything, p. 164; September, 2007, Emily Garrett, review of A Field Guide to High School, p. 209.
Memoirville Web site,http://www.smithmag.net/memoirville/ (March 5, 2007), Rachel Kramer Bussel, interview with Walsh.