Samantha DurbinNov 5, 2021
Coming of Age in the 90s
She Writes Press 2021
A ’90s time capsule buried inside a coming-of-age memoir set against the neon backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area's rave scene, Raver Girl (She Writes Press, 2021) chronicles Samantha’s double life as she teeters between hedonism and sobriety, chaos and calm, all while sneaking under the radar of her entrepreneur father—a man who happened to drop acid with LSD impresario Owsley Stanley in the ’60s.
Samantha keeps a list of every rave she goes to—a total of 104 over four years. During that time, what started as trippy fun morphs into a self-destructive roller coaster ride. Samantha opens the doors of her mind, but she's left with traumas her acid-fried brain won't let her escape; and when meth becomes her drug of choice, things get progressively darker. Through euphoric highs and dangerous lows, Samantha discovers she’s someone who lives life to the fullest and learns best through alternative experience rather than mainstream ideals. She’s a creative whose mind is limitless, whose quirks are charms, whose passion is inspirational. She’s an independent woman whose inner strength is rooted in unwavering family ties. And if she can survive high school, she just might be okay.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.