Inappropriation: A Novel
PRAISE FOR THE NOVEL
“The Australian all-girls’ high school that’s this hilarious debut novel’s backdrop is a petri dish of contemporary culture war. Freiman’s gambit is that satire and the disavowal of pieties can lead to a deeper sort of empathy. It’s a trial for her misfit heroine, who’s at the awkward age when every day feels like an improvised performance in the theater of the absurd. Now more than ever, as they say.” Christian Lorentzen, NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s Top Ten Books of 2018
“It is easy, and always flattering, to condemn performative wokeness. It is harder, and smarter, to ask if politics ever transcends adolescent fantasy. Ziggy uses the political as an excuse for belonging. Are you telling me you don’t? Freiman suspects you do, and she has the same thick, buttermilky compassion for her readers as she does for her characters, sour and full of saggy lumps. She burlesques them—and you—but only because she identifies.” Andrea Long Chu, BOOKFORUM
"A witty, energetic send-up of the current pieties surrounding racial and sexual identity. It goes without saying that Inappropriation is irreverent, but this is a loving, sisterly sort of ridicule, spoofing the absurdities of the very young and very woke." WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Intelligent and has its finger on the zeitgeist." NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Intense, crackling, hilarious...Freiman's satirical look at identity politics, the perversions of technology, and what it means to be a teenage girl feels like a genuine thrill to read; it's a book that will alternately make you gasp with laughter and with secondary embarrassment." NYLON magazine
"A lively, satirical coming-of-age tale" PEOPLE magazine
"...a hilarious modern take on the world of cliques, class and Australian drag clubs." AM New York
"Freiman's stellar debut...perfectly depicts the timeless awkwardness of growing up...a very strong first novel." Starred review in PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
"...a humorous and bawdy skewering of identity politics." BOOKLIST
"A bold and heady coming-of-age tale with a biting sense of humor and a heavy dose of contemporary cultural critique." LIBRARY JOURNAL
"...contains preposterous plotlines involving radical feminism, a religious guru, and off-color Jewish humor. Yet it all comes together magically." OUT Magazine
“Mean Girls meets Kathy Acker with a dash of Seinfeld.” THE AUSTRALIAN
LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION'S FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE MILES FRANKLIN AWARD
Starting at a prestigious private Australian girls’ school, fifteen-year-old Ziggy Klein is confronted with an alienating social hierarchy that hurls her into the arms of her grade’s most radical feminists. Plagued by fantasies of offensive sexual stereotypes and a psychotherapist mother who thinks bum-pinching is fine if it comes from the heart chakra, Ziggy sets off on a journey of self-discovery that moves from the Sydney drag scene to the extremist underbelly of the Internet to the coastal bohemia of a long-dissolved matriarchal cult.
As PC culture collides with her friends’ morphing ideology and her parents’ kinky sex life, Ziggy’s understanding of gender, race, and class begins to warp. Ostracized at school, she seeks refuge in Donna Haraway’s seminal feminist text, A Cyborg Manifesto, and discovers an indisputable alternative identity. Or so she thinks. A controversial Indian guru, a mean clique of blondes all called Cate, and her own Holocaust-surviving grandmother propel Ziggy through a series of misidentifications, culminating in a date-rape revenge plot so confused, it just might work.
Uproariously funny, but written with extraordinary acuity about the intersections of gender, sexual politics, race, and technology, Inappropriation is literary satire at its best. With a deft finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, Lexi Freiman debuts on the scene as a brilliant and fearless new talent.
"Lexi Freiman is a savage writer, hilarious and brilliant, and in Inappropriation, she has reframed the traditional coming-of-age story, tackling it with irreverence and acid wit. This is a daring book, thrillingly of our moment."
Emma Cline, author of The Girls.
"Inappropriation reads like a modern-day Gulliver's Travels, exploring the psyche of a generation searching for a better world in all the wrong places. Wry and funny and unabashedly provocative, Lexi Freiman is a gimlet-eyed satirist of the cultural morasses and political impasses of our times."
Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine and Intimations.
"Inappropriation is sly and risky, but also sweet, a wickedly funny machine built to make us laugh and think. The comic novel has a bold new voice in Lexi Freiman, and she could not have come along at a better time."
Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask and The Fun Parts.
"Inappropriation's crackling, electric prose is an uncomfortable joyride. You'll laugh out loud and squirm and wince, but you sure won't put it down. This novel is an original treasure--sentence by sentence, there is just no book like it."
Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa and Made for Love.
"Inappropriation unpacks and skewers our confused age in the guise of a winning and authentic coming of age story. Only read Lexi Freiman's assured and enormously enjoyable debut novel if you want to discover an incisive new voice full of dark, merciless wit."
Steve Toltz, author of Quicksand and A Fraction of the Whole.