The Girls of Usually

Lori Horwitz (Author)


Lori Horvitz grew up ashamed of her Eastern European Jewish roots, confused about her sexuality, and idolizing the "shiksa in her living room," a blonde all-American girl whose photo came in a double frame and was displayed next to a family photo from a bar mitzvah. Unable to join the "happy blonde families," she becomes a "hippie chick" who travels the world in search of ... something. The Girls of Usually chronicles each trip, each romance, each experiment in reinventing herself that draws her closer to discovering the secret door through which she can escape from deep-rooted patterns and accept her own cultural, ethnic, and sexual identity.

Product Details

Truman State University Press
Publish Date
January 15, 2015
5.4 X 0.45 X 8.5 inches | 0.78 pounds
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About the Author

Lori Horvitz's writing has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Hotel Amerika and Chattahoochee Review. She has been awarded writing fellowships from Yaddo, Ragdale, Cottages at Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Blue Mountain Center. A professor of literature and language at UNC Asheville, Horvitz also directs the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She received a PhD in English from SUNY at Albany and an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College.


Reading Lori Horvitz's Girls of Usually feels like calling up an old friend and talking late into the night. Deeply intimate and wickedly funny, these are essays to be treasured.
--Stephanie Elizondo Griest, author of Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana

When I first heard Lori Horvitz read some of her memoir essays, I laughed so hard my jeans burst open at the waist. The Girls of Usually may be like nothing you've ever read. But as in all the very finest writing, you'll see yourself--and maybe find yourself.
--Lynda Schor, author of Sexual Harassment Rules and The Body Parts Shop

Horvitz writes with a fine balance of wit and poignancy, deftly delivering her stories in a way that feels both personal and universal. The Girls of Usually is a read that stays with you--unsettling, complicated, and wholly rewarding.
--Artis Henderson, author of Unremarried Widow

received 12/17/14
With deft sleights of hand and stunning illumination, Lori Horvitz, in her mesmerizing book The Girls of Usually, alchemizes the transformation of a shy, bookish girl into an extraordinary woman. Filled with fierce emotional and psychological insight, these personal essays create spirit photographs of complex family dynamics, an absent/lost mother, the rising consciousness of queer and Jewish identities, and the haunting and formative palimpsests of past relationships. Traversing New York, North Carolina, Israel, China, Spain, and Manhattan's East Village during the height of the AIDS epidemic and ACT UP, The Girls of Usually charts both the beauty and pain of living and loving openly, of seeing through the illusions of conventionality into the harder-earned art of the remarkable. These smart, witty, and heartbreaking essays are pure magic and Lori Horvitz is truly a magician of the form.
--Lee Ann Roripaugh, author of Dandarians