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Recently named one of Kirkus Review’s Excellent New Memoirs, A Real Emotional Girl tells the true story of young Tanya, growing up in the wonderland of her family’s summer camp. At sixteen, this idyllic life is interrupted when she must face her father’s sudden illness. Tanya, her mother, and two brothers find themselves cramped in a tiny cabin in a tiny town in northern Wisconsin in the dead of winter. There, they wait for her father to die of cancer. Separated from friends and civilization, Tanya has only her fears and uncertainty for company.
At the age of twenty, Tanya loses a man who was not only her father but a surrogate father to thousands. To all who knew him, Richard Chernov was the fearless leader, the commanding presence, the flamboyant emcee, and the apple of everyone’s eyes. With unflagging commitment and passion, Tanya shares the poetic beauty and unspeakable pain of loss. Her memoir reveals a complex amalgam of human strength and fragility through an inimitable coming-of-age story. A Real Emotional Girl offers a glimpse, provocative in its raw honesty, into the nature of grief; it is story of family and heartache, of survival and growing up, and ultimately of love.
“A contemplative, profoundly moving meditation on life, love and death.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review (for the full review, click here)
“In this engaging debut work, Chernov re-creates the emotional devastation wrought by her father’s death, followed by a gradual realization of what was most valuable in their relationship.”
“Tanya Chernov writes movingly and with great emotional clarity about the loss of her father. A Real Emotional Girl explores how difficult it is to acknowledge death—and to find the time and space to grieve—in our distracted, fast-paced culture. Fortunately for us, Chernov has taken that time and, with poetry and grit, brought her remarkable family’s story vividly to life.”
— Zoe FitzGerald Carter, author of Imperfect Endings
“Part elegy and part coming-of-age story, and the juxtaposition of those two things. Written with alternating lyricism and ugly truth, Tanya Chernov reveals the painful and beautiful scars from losing a cherished parent at too young an age.”
–Jennie Shortridge, bestselling author of Eating Heaven
“A Real Emotional Girl transcends the memoir category. It strains against age barriers. This book should be read by teens and adults alike. Tanya’s story is the realest thing I have read in years.”
–Five Stars – Bookalicious
“It’s one thing to lose someone you love; it’s another to lose someone thousands of people love. In this deeply-felt story, Tanya Chernov confronts her father’s illness and untimely death with fear, honesty, and deep love.”
–Tania Katan, author of My One-Night Stand with Cancer: A Memoir
“Tanya was a good student and faced the lessons with courage and triumph.”
–Dr. Bernie Siegel