Vincent, Erin 1969-
Vincent, Erin 1969-
Born 1969, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; married. Education: Graduated from college.
Author and actor.
Grief Girl: My True Story, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2007.
The title of Erin Vincent's memoir Grief Girl: My True Story reflects the extent to which a tragic incident can affect and overwhelm a young person's life. In her book, Vincent returns readers to the year she was fourteen and living in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She describes the death of, first, her mother and then her father, as the result of an automobile accident. Dealing with the grief of this dual loss affected much of Vincent's teen years and continued to shadow her for many years thereafter. Finally, with the encouragement of her husband, Vincent was able to reflect on her feelings. Six years in the writing, Grief Girl recounts this painful experience and provides teen readers with "a gripping memoir" and a work that "will resonate" with teens in the opinion of School Library Journal contributor Rebecca M. Jones.
With the death of her parents in 1983, Vincent's life changed forever. Because her older sister, Tracy, had turned eighteen, Vincent and her three-year-old brother, Trent, were able to remain together, but the lack of a parent left each of the children emotionally isolated. Over the next two years, Vincent insulated herself from friends, family, and teachers who tried to help, and other misfortunes followed, such as the breakdown of the relationship among the siblings, abandonment by extended family, a loss of personal faith, and unwanted sexual advances. "I became such an angry person, and I thought the world was just a horrible place," Vincent revealed to Richard Fidler in a profile posted on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation—Queensland Web site. "I stopped washing, I stopped washing my hair …," she added. "I didn't wear my school uniform…. I became very ‘eff you’."
Vincent narrates her story in the present tense, using the "gritty language" and adolescent perspective that gives Grief Girl a "palpable immediacy," in Jones' view. A Publishers Weekly reviewer cited the book's "unadorned, journalistic style" and noted that Vincent's "intimate, honest narrative captures both … strength and vulnerability." "Any adolescent going through the grieving process will tearfully embrace" Grief Girl, concluded Jennifer Hubert, the critic dubbing Vincent's memoir "poignant" in her Booklist review.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Vincent, Erin, Grief Girl: My True Story, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, February 1, 2007, Jennifer Hubert, review of Grief Girl: My True Story, p. 41.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Grief Girl, p. 347.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2007, review of Grief Girl, p. 130.
Publishers Weekly, April 2, 2007, review of Grief Girl, p. 59.
School Library Journal, February, 2007, Rebecca M. Jones, review of Grief Girl, p. 146.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Mary E. Helsin, review of Grief Girl, p. 82.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation—Queensland Web site,http://www.abc.net.au/queensland/ (April 20, 2007), Richard Fidler, profile of Vincent.
Blurb,http://www.theblurb.com.au/ (February 1, 2008), Karin van Heerwaarden, interview with Vincent.
Erin Vincent Home Page,http://www.griefgirl.com (February 18, 2008).
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (March 28, 2008), "Erin Vincent."