You might be weary of the typical young memoirist who suffers some unimaginable hardship, like a high-level internship, only to lose it all, gain a publisher and a development deal, and sail into microfame. Nonetheless, were quivering: The Girls Guide to Homelessness is a very good book. To write it, Brianna Karp first went through the homelessness mentioned in the title. Well take homelessness! In her case, last-resort lodging took the form of a travel trailer in a Walmart parking lot, where the 24-year-old lived after losing her executive assistant job and running out of money. After her blog took off what, you wouldnt blog about that? Karps fortunes improved, and she appeared on CNN. She became a homeless activist. She wrote her book. And in April, on the heels of Girls Guide getting a starred review from Kirkus, Margaret Atwood penned a tweet: Reading Brianna Karp, The Girls Guide to Homelessness, chewed ends of fingers, parents from hell! Which resulted in a shocked, humbled, and hopeful blog post from Karp, which included the lines, It makes me feel, just for a few fleeting minutes, that perhaps Im not a Snooki. Maybe I really could be am? a writer. New media rule: When Atwood tweets your book, youre a writer.
Brianna Karp appears in conversation with Tony DuShane.
Wed., June 8, 6 p.m., 2011