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Tell Me I'm An Artist by Chelsea Martin
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Tell Me I'm An Artist by Chelsea Martin
Hardcover $27.00
Sep 20, 2022 | ISBN 9781593767211

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Praise

A NYLON Most Anticipated Book of the Year
A Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year

“It’s the larger feminist question ungirding these pages that gives the book its weight: What do women owe their families? And what happens when they cut those ties to become artists? . . . Even though Joey doesn’t end up making any great art, her path is a reminder that pursuing one’s vision of an artistic life is its own reward, and a messy personal life is often part and parcel of the art journey.” —Anisse Gross, San Francisco Chronicle

“In this extraordinarily moving story about class, art and family life, Martin delicately uncovers the ways in which the university acts only as a superficial equalizer, and students who grow up in generational poverty contend with burdens invisible to their peers . . . Something this book does better than any campus novel I’ve read is highlight the way that class differences really manifest.” —Emmy Levy, The Seattle Times

“Even while Tell Me I’m An Artist distills some pretty heavy subjects, Martin does so in her signature breezy, humor-infused style. Joey is unapologetically self-deprecating, but completely relatable in her awkward attempts to fit in and discover her artistic purpose.” —Chey Scott, The Inlander

“A novel for anyone who’s ever thought, ‘WTF am I doing?’ about their art.” —Sophia June, NYLON, One of the Must-Read Books of the Month

“Martin is certainly a duchess if not a queen of autofiction, and lovers of her previous novella Mickey or essay collection Caca Dolce will be looking for her comeback.” —Erin Taylor, Observer

Tell Me I’m An Artist argues the forging of identity itself is a creative process. In it, Martin delineates the way the creative process can be a conduit for either self-discovery or self-annihilation . . . Every person, young or old, who has ever wanted to make something will see some part of themselves in some part of [Joey]. What makes Joey’s journey immensely readable is Martin’s obvious empathy for her protagonist and for the act of creation.” —Naomi Elias, KQED Arts

“Chelsea writes with wry observational humor about both her internal and external worlds in a way that is deeply warm, relatable and utterly hilarious. Tell Me I’m An Artist is a campus novel of sorts, but an art school campus—a place many readers have never had the pleasure of visiting. And it’s such a fun place to visit when the reader gets to do it through Chelsea’s brilliant writing.” —Barrie Miskin, Write or Die Tribe

Tell Me I’m An Artist is a stunning, hilarious, perfect ode to growing up and growing into yourself as a girl, a person, a friend, a family member, and an artist . . . A masterpiece and a piece of comedic genius; I loved it and so will you.” —Julia Hass, A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of the Year

“An art student wrestles with creative and family trouble in this empathetic novel. . . . The art school comedy of manners gives way to a deeper story about navigating disparate worlds and struggling with situations without easy answers. An unconventional and subtly powerful coming-of-age story.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Martin’s youthful, character-driven latest digs into imposter syndrome and class differences among a crew of San Francisco art students . . . With a series of short, one-to-five-page scenes spliced by Joelle’s Google searches and handwritten journal entries, Martin captures her protagonist’s youthful insecurity and desire for creative direction . . . [Her] humor shines.” —Publishers Weekly

“Portrait of the artist as a broke and brilliant, hungry and funny young woman, Chelsea Martin’s Tell Me I’m An Artist is an acutely felt and beautifully rendered depiction of all the absurd, messy, complicated layers of trying to make things, a story of not only ambition and yearning, but also of triumph and loving.” —Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want

“Overflowing with humor and honesty, Tell Me I’m An Artist interrogates the life of the artist from an engrossingly contemporary angle. It’s a monument to the big and small ways in which we craft our notions of artistry, and to Chelsea Martin’s dazzling skill as a writer.” —Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun

“In Tell Me I’m An Artist, Chelsea Martin tells my favorite kind of love story—that between an artist and her work. She explores how crippling self-doubt, desperation and abject terror are all threads of the creative process, tangled up with euphoria, self-discovery and transcendence.” —Hallie Bateman, author of Directions

“Chelsea Martin has quietly become one of our most prolific and hardworking contemporary writers—always fresh yet understated, calmly insightful, mumbling profundity so casually that one questions whether she recognizes its brilliance. Tell Me I’m An Artist is another home run, impossible not to devour immediately. Never before have I read such a precise encapsulation of the under-addressed ennui of family dysfunction and mother-daughter relationships.” —Darcie Wilder, author of literally show me a healthy person

“The funniest, smartest, Chelsea-est novel you could only dream of. I savored every page, and when I finished, I wanted to begin again. In the form of lists, internet searches, fragments, and impeccable pacing, Chelsea Martin tackles the notion of being an ‘artist’ in this unpredictable and colorful novel for our times.” —Chloe Caldwell, author of The Red Zone: A Love Story

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