· Girlbomb, A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Janice Erlbaum (I think she was at Friends only for middle school, in the ‘80’s). I am grateful to Molly Peacock for telling me about Janice Erlbaum and Rebecca Wolff (The Beginners). Girlbomb is the gritty story of a girl’s coming of age in the druggy world of lower Manhattan. When her mother takes back her abusive husband for the umpteenth time, fifteen-year-old Janice leaves her home and makes her way to a midtown homeless shelter. Along with hostile and desperate girls, she encounters a colorful mix of valiance and warmth. When her mother begins divorce proceedings, she goes home, but soon finds herself ensnared in the troubles that go along with drugs and a longing for love and acceptance. Some of Janice’s imagery seems high-brow literary (as when she riffs on how she and her two friends are like a geometric figure); at the same time the teenage lingo is so authentic it jumps off the page.