A Real Emotional Girl

You can buy a signed copy for $24.95, with free shipping anywhere in the United States. Just click the Paypal button below to get started. You can also find A Real Emotional Girl for sale at Amazon, Barnes and NoblePowell’s,  your local indie book shop, or wherever you call home.


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.”

–Publishers Weekly

“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

12 thoughts on “A Real Emotional Girl

  1. Tanya-

    I can not wait to read!!!! I think about you often!

    SO excited for you and your future husband!

    TM of 96
    ( and every cabin in between)

  2. Tanya,
    Your dad and I met when we were 12. He was a dear, kind, funny, bright, adorable, charming, warm, loving man. I am smiling while writing this to you..just thinking about him makes me smile. He is dearly missed and we are lucky to have had him in our lives. I can’t wait to read your writings.

  3. Beautiful Tanya – I want to buy your book. Your father, yes he was larger than life, and so are you, Gabe, Dylan and your mother. Our 14 years of Camp BT etched such a powerful image on our family soul that it became the glue that binds us as a family. Our blessed good fortune to have a cabin on our own Lake Pokegama on the Ojibwa Indian Reservation has allowed us to continue living in Richard’s image. We turn into grown-up campers every summer and are able to carry on all the rich traditions and respect for the Northwoods. Oh how I wish you could see it. We are indeed an extension of your father’s soul.

  4. Tanya,
    I can not wait to read your book. You have an amazing family and your Dad was an incredible man. Thinking of you guys and camp BT often.

    Jen T
    (TM of 96)

  5. I’ve been following your journey since late 2010 on your blog and when I found out your memoir is getting published I was so excited (and proud) for you! Someone once told me as a writer, whether your story ever gets published or not, just writing it and getting it out of you may be painful but can help heal. Congratulations! You’re an inspiration!

  6. Pingback: Expats Radio hosted by Bill Friday (episode 14) with Tanya Chernov… Live From the End of the World « Bill Friday

  7. I just finished it! Superb. I loved how you continued to intertwine the the past with the present — keeping us connected to your father. However, I especially appreciated the moments of raw honesty, reflection, and gained wisdom/understanding. A very cathartic read! Well done 🙂

    • I blush! Thank you for that ringing endorsement! You have made my night with your incredible encouragement. Many, many thanks–hope to keep in touch!

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