“I adored this novel. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me really, really want a tattoo.” —Clare Pooley, New York Times bestselling author of The Authenticity Project
An uplifting, feminist coming-of-age love story about a young woman who dreams of becoming a tattoo artist, and living life on her own terms
Introvert Gina Mulley is determined to become a tattoo artist, and to find somewhere she belongs in her conventional Long Island town. But this is 1985, when tattooing is still a gritty, male-dominated fringe culture, and Gina’s funky flash is not exactly mainstream tattoo fare. The good news is that her older brother Dominic owns a tattoo shop, and he reluctantly agrees to train her.
Gina has a year to prove herself, but her world is turned upside down when a mysterious psychic and his striking assistant, Anna, arrive on the scene. With Anna’s help, Gina recognizes that the only way she has a shot at becoming a professional tattoo artist is to embrace her quirkiness both in her art and her life.
The tattoo shop is rocked by a crisis just as Gina finds herself falling in love with Anna. Dominic gives Gina an ultimatum, and she’s faced with an impossible choice: Is the romance and newfound independence she’s found worth sacrificing her dreams? Or can she find a way to have it all?
About the Author
June Gervais grew up on the south shore of Long Island and earned her MFA in writing and literature at Bennington College. Her many jobs have included shelving library books and taking classified ads, grassroots activism and graphic design, art direction and teaching. Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair is her debut novel.
Praise for Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair:
“Gervais portrays an unapologetic young woman who shirks away all the social norms of her time and lives according to her own set of rules. Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair is a revealing portrait of finding your way professionally and personally into adulthood.” —Ploughshares
“From the start, the novel is immersive and wholly alive. Gervais painstakingly renders the fine-grained particularities of the 1980s body-art scene and locates its deeper emotional core. . . Gina is a touchingly complex, flawed character; her journey from childhood misfit to adult is gratifying to behold. . . Gervais’ characters are original and a pleasure to read; their narrative energy will easily carry readers through to the final page. An enjoyable romp brought to life by its lovable, off-kilter protagonist.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Charming. . . . The complex characters. . . will keep readers turning the pages.” —Publishers Weekly
“Gervais’ debut is a thoughtful and tender coming-of-age story.” —Booklist
“I adored this novel. It’s a story about being an awkward, misfit girl with big dreams in a man’s world. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me really, really want a tattoo.” —Clare Pooley, New York Times bestselling author of The Authenticity Project
“As if a queer, feminist, 80s coming-of-age novel weren’t enough, Jobs for Girls With Artistic Flair also introduces us to a host of interesting characters in all the shades of gray, a gathering storm of family drama, and a burgeoning tattoo scene I knew nothing about and was delighted to be (pun intended) drawn into.” —Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is
“Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair is an absolute delight--fascinating, funny, touching and hugely compelling. I loved the richly-drawn characters and was completely absorbed by the setting. A fantastically accomplished debut by an author to watch.” —Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of Ghosted
“A colorful coming-of-age story brimming with gorgeous prose and vibrant misfits, and a fascinating glimpse into the world of tattooing in the 1980s. This novel is for anyone who's ever searched for their place in the world or fought for their dreams—in other words, everyone.” —Margarita Montimore, USA Today bestselling author of Oona Out of Order
“June Gervais has delivered an uncommonly assured debut, equal parts subculture and style. Smart, confident, witty, and tender, Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair is a love song to those dreams that resist obstacles and the young women who dare to dream them.” —Ivy Pochoda, bestselling author of These Women
“Bizarre and charming, June Gervais' debut is beautifully crafted, a coming-of-age story that celebrates the messiness of finding yourself, the pleasure of marching offbeat, the beauty of unknown paths. Gina Mulley is a winning narrator who I both wanted to hug and be tattooed by.” —Jean Kyoung Frazier, author of Pizza Girl
“Gervais’ debut is an utterly original, wonderfully charming story that dives deep into the fringe world of 80s Long Island. I couldn’t stop reading!” —Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane
“Gina Mulley is irresistible: clever, stubborn, loving, slightly out of control. I couldn’t stop reading because I had to find out what happened, but I didn’t want this smart, engaging novel to end.” —Alice Mattison, author of Conscience
“This coming-of-age debut is for all the readers who once felt a little quirky, who longed to find their place in the world and the courage to go after it. In Gina, a soulful, aspiring tattoo artist, June Gervais has given readers a love letter to the 80s, to growing up blue collar by the sea, to self-discovery and becoming an adult, and to falling in love for the first time. Beautiful, vulnerable, and moving. Not to be missed.” —Donna Freitas, author of The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano
“Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair winds through the fascinating subculture of the tattooers and the tattooed. A feisty novel about getting through—and then getting on.” —Sven Birkerts, author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age