Green Girl, by Kate Zambreno, is the story of Ruth, a motivation-less American living in London and the life, a story that progresses largely against her will. Slowly, her life changes, seemingly without any effort on her part and with the selfishness of a woman in her early twenties. Working in a department store she labels “horrids”
I found Green Girl incredibly compelling. From its almost theatrical opening scene in Harrods to its abrupt ending on an unnamed London street, Ruth is a character who both infuriates and charms. Certainly, she brings up questions of your own youth – was I so directionless, so selfish, so feral? – mixed with a perverse sympathy and admiration. I can’t say you’ll be changed or motivated by this novel. Ruth is the archetype of a lazy, selfish young woman, taken to its most slovenly and egocentric extreme. But, there is something very moving and familiar in the way she flits through life that I could certainly connect to, and the prose is smart and funny enough to carry you through.