“Camille Collins has a voice like water. There is lush music in her debut novel—each word flows with purpose and beauty. In the big sea of young adult literature, The Exene Chronicles casts a powerful net and takes us in—heart and all.”

—Kwame Alexander, Newberry medalist and New York Times best-selling author of Rebound

The Exene Chronicles

by Camille A. Collins

The Exene Chronicles is the coming-of-age story of one girl, but it sings the coming of a new age for all girls in America who have been disenfranchised by the spaces they identified as their own. With lyrical prose and an unrelenting moral center, Camille A. Collins liberates the punk in all of us.

Coming September 25th, 2018

Lia is fourteen and losing her best friend. When things don’t seem like they could get any worse, Ryan disappears.

Lia is one of only a handful of black kids in Coronado, her San Diego suburb. The only person she feels she can talk to is punk rock high priestess and frontwoman to a legendary LA band, Exene Cervenka. Reeling from Ryan’s disappearance, Lia writes letters and poems to Exene every day. She can relate to Exene—but if they were to ever meet, would Exene be able to relate to her? With Exene and her band’s searing soundtrack as her chief inspiration, Lia dives head-first into a dark and spiky counterculture rife with confrontation, shifting alliances, and unsettling insights into what Ryan was doing and what might have happened to her.

Set against the backdrop of the 1980s heyday of LA punk rock, The Exene Chronicles sings of the coming of a new age for all girls in America who have been disenfranchised by the spaces they identified as their own. With lyrical prose and an unrelenting moral center, Camille A. Collins liberates the punk in all of us.

“It is a pleasure to discover—or perhaps that should be uncover—a first book by a new writer.  Collins has bravely and with courage given us a coming-of-age story that we will enjoy sharing with our teenage sons and daughters. And we look forward to the next book.”
—Poet Nikki Giovanni on The Exene Chronicles

An excerpt from The Exene Chronicles

“Let’s go back for a moment to this Neil. You say he lives in Imperial Beach?”

Lia had not imagined that the police made house calls. She’d envisioned a more chilling scene. She imagined being escorted into a sparse chamber with a metal table and chairs to be questioned for hours under a harsh light.

Camille A. Collins

Camille A. Collins has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University.  She likes writing about music, and has contributed features and reviews to Afropunk and BUST.  She lives in New York City.

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