Juliet the Maniac

It’s 1997, and 14-year-old Juliet has it pretty good. But over the course of the next two years, she rapidly begins to unravel, finding herself in a downward trajectory of mental illness and self-destruction. An explosive portrayal of teenage life from the perspective of The Bad Friend, JULIET THE MANIAC is a bold, stylish breakout book from an author already crackling on the indie scene.

Are you reading Juliet the Maniac with your book group? Check out our reading group guide to get the conversation started.

JULIET ESCORIA is the author of the poetry collection WITCH HUNT (Lazy Fascist Press 2016) and the story collection BLACK CLOUD (CCM/Emily Books 2014), which were both listed in various best of the year roundups. Her writing can be found in places like Lenny, Catapult, VICE, Prelude, Dazed, and Hobart and has already been translated into many languages. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, the writer Scott McClanahan.

”A force that shouldn’t be ignored — an illuminating examination of youth and soul-crushing pressure.”—BUZZFEED

”Searing… reminiscent of Eve Babitz’s work… Escoria’s novel is a moving and intimate portrait of girlhood and mental illness.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Achingly accurate language, stripped down but beautiful, makes this story fresh and forthright.”—Barbara HoffertLIBRARY JOURNAL

”Vivid, fantastic imaginings… of mental illness and disaffected youth.”KIRKUS REVIEWS

”Escoria here delivers a coming-of-age novel about teenage life and mental illness that’s also an explosive work of autofiction. With bold honesty, she tells an unforgettable story that’s unhindered by romanticism in its unabashed portrayal of Juliet’s darkest struggles.”BOOKLIST

”Juliet Escoria has created a propulsive, addictive story… told with a singular honesty; it can feel brutal—it burns—but it’s also illuminating, and a necessary counterpoint to all those teenage stories that marginalize the girl we actually want to read about.”—NYLON

“[An] exciting first novel… Juliet the Maniac is one of those coming-of-age stories that will feel so darn personal, you’ll wonder if Escoria had a secret recording device in your own teenage heart.”—BUSTLE

“An author to watch” – Michael Schaub at LA TIMES

“Writing about emotional turmoil and addiction with a sharp, charged eloquence, Juliet Escoria … is an up-and-coming author.”—A.V. CLUB

“Escoria weaves a story that isn’t just relatable to those with mental illness, but really illustrates what it’s like for those readers who don’t have it…. Escoria’s writing traces the scars in this book with a gentle fingertip, capturing the moments with a dream-like clarity, watching them unfold, knowing what the consequences will be.”—ENTROPY

”Not since Kathy Acker has a writer given us such an unapologetic and dazzling view from the inside-out of adolescence. Juliet Escoria, I wanted to eat your book, devour it, make it part of my body and then send it screaming for life back into the world. A voice and style triumph. A brilliant cry against cultural girl inscriptions.”—Lidia Yuknavich, author of The Book of Joan

Juliet the Maniac is a singularly beautiful piece of work—honest, unaffected, fascinating. It’s also scandalous.”—Nico Walker, author of Cherry

Juliet the Maniac is a late-nineties Bell Jar, a ‘Girl, Interrupted’ in gloomy sunny Southern California, an autofiction from a former reform-school pirate princess. Teenage girls forever (and other people who exist, too): Read this book.” —Katherine Faw, author of Ultraluminous

”Juliet Escoria’s voice is unmistakable: riveting, harrowing and funny. In Juliet the Maniac, she tells a story about addiction and mental illness that subverts our expectations and reveals new truths about gender, power, and the unexpected ways we can both heal and be harmed.” —Emily Gould, author of Friendship