A history of the hey day of riot grrrl, Girls to the Front reads more like a biography of the movement, like a biography of an ex-lover on whom the author has some distance but still identifies with to a large extent. It is a loving, but not uncritical portrait of the rise of riot grrrl and its best known players. A professional (and very talented) writer, Sara Marcus includes herself only in the introduction and briefly in the epilogue. Given my own bias toward personal narratives and the every grrrl, I might have liked a little more about Sara's experiences and adventures, but I still found the book to be educational, inspiring, compelling, and enraging--in a good way.
Tagged with music
I think Marisa Meltzer is brave for writing this book. There are probably a lot of women out there that know its primary sources as well as she does and who will think she left out x or misinterpreted y. I am not one of those women, though. I have expertise in the zine side of riot grrrl, but know very little about the bands, so I was psyched to read this short, personable history with a certain amount of memoir thrown in.