About

Abigail Tarttelin is an award-winning author, screenwriter, actress, and musician. As a writer, she is best known for Golden Boy, “a grippingly innovative” coming-of-age novel with a “radical non-binary, pro-intersex message” (Autostraddle). Golden Boy is the winner of an Alex Award from the American Library Association, a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist for Best LGBT Debut, a Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 2013, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, and is published in eight languages.

Also a screenwriter, Abigail has served as a juror for the British Independent Film Awards, and is currently working on the Duck Soup/BBC Films adaptation of Golden Boy. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, Phoenix, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post. She is the recipient of awards from The Authors Foundation and The K Blundell Trust in Great Britain.

Books

Abigail is the ALEX-award winning author of three adult novels, DEAD GIRLS, GOLDEN BOY, and FLICK.

 

DEAD GIRLS (2018)

THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN BOOK OF THE MONTH NOVEMBER 2019

“Ouija, Nanopets, and feminism come together in this dark, unflinching story that’s at once a touching coming-of-age tale and a deeply disturbing whodunnit.”
The Independent

“…the wild places of childhood are not all magical and good… Dead Girls is a heartstopping horror novel and a frightening coming-of-age story.”
Foreword Reviews, 5 starred review

“Harriet the Spy is all grown up―and readying herself to take on the darkness of the adult world. This somehow manages to combine mystery, thriller, horror, and a lovely elegy to lost friendship . . . Completely unforgettable.”
Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

“Feminist, bold, shocking, packed with little epiphanies.”
Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee and Vigilante

“…drills down through layers of moral and cultural norms… By reversing stereotypes associated with gender and age, Dead Girls offers a strong indictment of cultural and narrative scripts that permeate our society, and a graphic illustration of the danger of the over-simplified plots of many popular dramas where ‘good guys’ catching ‘bad guys’ makes for a happy ending.”
Hackney Citizen

…with its blend of murder, mystery and ghostly thrills, it’ll keep you hooked until the unexpected end.”
Culturefly

From the award-winning author of Golden Boy, a riveting novel that traces one girl’s journey to understand what happened to her best friend, and what it might mean to be a girl.

Eastcastle, England in the late 1990s is a peaceful, rural community where children disappear into wheat fields to play until nightfall. There are no mobile phones and no cause to worry. For families, it’s a place that allows the ultimate freedom, and this is the way eleven-year-old Thera Wilde and her friends are brought up: free.

So when Thera’s best friend goes missing, Thera assumes Billie is off on another adventure. Then detectives come to question Thera at school, and she realises the worst has happened. Thera starts to ask, what is a pervert? Why are girls particularly at risk? And why do the men around her think she’s theirs to touch? Questions the adults around her don’t want to answer.

Meanwhile, Billie has entered the realm of the dead girls; the girls that go missing and who no one finds. Does Thera really see her ghost, or is she hallucinating, mentally marked by the horror of losing her friend? The investigation continues. The rural police are slow, and overwhelmed by the unexpected nature of the case.

Urged on by what she believes to be Billie’s ghost, Thera decides to find out what happened to her friend. It’s the 90s. Girls can do anything. Thera will hunt down the killer herself.

An authentic, tender portrayal of a young girl’s grief and determination in the face of unbearable loss, as well as a smart, suspenseful exploration of how we talk to young girls about the men who would hurt them. Dead Girls is Tarttelin’s riveting, fiercely feminist follow up to critically-acclaimed LAMBDA Finalist and ALEX Award winner, Golden Boy.

Published in the UK (Pan Macmillan/Picador) and USA (Rare Bird Books).

Dead Girls is also available on audiobook in the UK (Pan Macmillan).

 

GOLDEN BOY (2013)

2014 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST
WINNER OF THE 2014 ALEX AWARD
BOOKLIST TOP 10 FIRST NOVEL OF 2013
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2013

“Effortlessly switching from point of view, Tarttelin weaves a fantastically complex, engrossing and occasionally dark tale of discovering who you are.”
The Guardian, “Top 10 Books About Gender Identity”

“A gripping read. [Tarttelin] is a natural storyteller.”
Matt Haig, author of The Humans

“Abigail Tarttelin is a fearless writer. In Golden Boy, she balances a harrowing coming of age with a deeply compassionate portrait of a family in crisis, and the result is sometimes brutal, often tender, and always compelling. This is a gripping and fully-realized novel.”
Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

“Abigail Tarttelin has written an unforgettable novel. Golden Boy pulls you in from the very first page and holds you tight, gripping you by the throat and not letting go until it reaches its brilliant and masterful conclusion. Max Walker is the golden boy, and you will root for him, cry for him, fear for him, at times get angry at him but guaranteed you will never forget him. Not ever. The characters who make up Max’s universe, from determined Karen, to distant Steve, to a deceitful Hunter, are all written in a perfect pitch. The dialogue is real, the pace is stealth bomber fast, and the plot never lets up. Tarttelin has blasted it out of the park in her first at bat here in the States. She has written a novel that goes beyond the page and reaches into a reader’s heart and stays there, never to leave, never to be forgotten. Golden Boy is that good of a novel, and Tarttelin is that gifted of a writer. This book simply deserves to be read and treasured.”
Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of Sleepers

“Gripping and beautifully-written, Abigail Tarttelin’s Golden Boy is a courageous and profound exploration of social and sexual identity and its world of manifold complexities and challenges.”
Sahar Delijani, author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree

“…compassionately and beautifully written… We hope this book might help to promote a greater understanding of intersex amongst the wider community… it’s arguably “intersex lite”, the easily comprehended, mainstream, middle-class introduction to intersex that maybe we need it to be… The author captures astonishingly well the difficulties faced by someone coming to terms with their bodily differences in the face of social, clinical and parental demands for conformity. Abigail Tarttelin shows empathy and warmth, and this book is highly recommended.”
Morgan Carpenter, Intersex Human Rights Australia

“A grippingly innovative take on coming of age, sexuality, and family dynamics [with] a radically non-binary, pro-intersex message.”
Hida Viloria, Intersex Campaign for Equality

Golden Boy is at once meditative and swift, a coming-of-age tale about the difficulties of growing up amid shame and secrets and success. Abigail Tarttelin writes with a sharp-eyed grace in this fascinating, heartfelt gem of a novel.”
Dean Bakopoulos, author of My American Unhappiness

Golden Boy is terrific. A poignant, brave and important book.”
S.J. Watson, author of Before I Go To Sleep

“Gritty yet humane, startlingly modern yet utterly timeless, Golden Boy hits all the deepest, biggest novelistic notes—family, identity, tragedy and hope—without the merest hint of strain. In Abigail Tarttelin’s American debut, she has already proven herself to be a writer of extraordinary empathy and incredible wisdom… and she makes it look so easy. Tarttelin is the real deal.”
Rachel Shukert, writer/producer of GLOW

“A dramatic, thoroughgoing investigation of the complexities of sexuality and gender…. A warmly human coming-of-age story, thanks to the fact that Max is such an appealing character. And so his desperate search for identity is gripping, emotionally engaging, and genuinely unforgettable.”
Booklist (starred)

“This controversial book dealing with issues of identity, gender and sexuality and freedom of the press is set to be a modern classic… The truth will out in this gritty, cool and brilliantly compelling novel from one of the hippest young authors around.”
Lovereading

“…gripping…”,
Cosmopolitan

“Tarttelin writes sensitively about how an intersex child might cope with the heightened emotions of adolescence.”
Entertainment Weekly

“…intense and fearless…. With empathy and imagination, Tarttelin describes an adolescent search for identity made monstrous by Max’s uncertainty over that self-identifier most of us take for granted: am I a man or a woman?”
Publishers Weekly

“If a book with literary ambition should both inform and entertain, as well as make you see the world in a different way, if only slightly, then Tarttelin has certainly achieved that.”
Litro

An original read about a young person in an extraordinary situation… Unlike anything you will have read before… Brave, unique and utterly compelling. This is a book that will certainly make you think about life.
Heat

Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he’s the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He’s even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max’s mother, is determined to maintain the façade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years, but now that the boys are getting older, she worries that the façade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won’t his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he’s starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him—desire him—once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?

Golden Boy is a novel you’ll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.

Published in the USA (Atria/Simon & Schuster), the UK (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Orion), Sweden (Bonnier Carlsen), Brazil (Globo Livros), Italy (Mondadori), Turkey (Pegasus), The Netherlands (Luitingh Sijthoff), Taiwan (Pushing Hanz), Spain (Ediciones B/Bruguera).

Golden Boy is also available on audiobook in the USA (Simon & Schuster) and in the UK (Audible).

 

FLICK (2011)

“…a slow-burn cult classic… Flick’s voice is both authentic and compelling.”
GQ

“Tarttelin captures the blush of a first romance and the patter and pace of the inhabitants of northern England… an ambitious effort.”
Publisher’s Weekly

My name is Flick and these are my images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.

Stranded in his home town by a lack of education, cash and anything better to do, Will Flicker, a.k.a. ‘Flick’, muses on whether Pepsi is better than Coke, the art of The Right Amount Of Stoned and why Rainbow, the new girl in town, is just so much hotter than the losers and users he counts as friends.

But when a dangerous figure from the past threatens his future with Rainbow, Flick finds himself torn between the ties that bind him to his old life and the freedom that she represents.

Flick is published in the USA (Simon & Schuster) & UK (Orion).

Films

SCREENWRITING

Abigail is currently working on the Duck Soup/BBC Films adaptation of her sophomore novel Golden Boy. Abigail has previously worked as a screenwriter for Handle Productions, Zeitgeist Industries, and Living Spirit Pictures.

ACTING

Abigail began acting in National Youth Theatre productions as a teenager, progressing to independent feature film, shorts, and adverts. Watch her reel to see her in bilingual improvised short TAXI RIDER; a television pilot about modern Vikings, THE DANELAW; as well as in science fiction feature film SCHRODINGER’S GIRL.

Music

Abigail is the lead singer, lyricist, and video director, for feminist concept band GIRLBOY.

“JENNIFER LAWRENCE” by GIRLBOY

BBC 6/BBC INTRODUCING TOP TEN TRACK OF 2014 AND 2015

Out now on iTunes: http://bit.ly/1zl0OiU

“This funny, horny tongue in cheek paen to Jennifer Lawrence” is “well-made motoring pop” with “splendidly outrageous lyrics and velvet vocals” – Tom Robinson of BBC6 Music on freshonthenet.co.uk
“It came in 48 hours ago and I haven’t stopped listening to it. Absolutely superb track…so well-crafted.” – Dean Jackson, BBC Introducing
GIRLBOY says: “Society, the media and many individuals ask women to be skinny, to shut up, and to accept the sexualisation of their bodies by the media. This song is about celebrating women for their make-up-less beauty and power, for their strength when they choose not to give a fuck about what other people think, and for the times when they stand up to those who insult and abuse them. Like many Jennifer fans, we know she is someone who takes pains to stand up to misogyny and sexism. We think she’s a phenomenally strong human being and we want her to know how grateful we are that she’s around to be a role model for young women (and men, and trans, and non-binary folk).”

Music written by M Reeve | Lyrics by A Tarttelin | Produced by Lewis Foster | Mastered by Charlie Daly | Cinematography by Leigh Keily | Make Up by Rosie Cannon | Styling by Coralie Colmez | Thank you to our wonderful extras

“GIRLS WON’T MIND” by GIRLBOY

Out now on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/gir…

Also on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/158Lg4W…

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/girlboymusic

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0…

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/a…

Music written by M Reeve | Lyrics by A Tarttelin | Produced by Lewis Foster | Mastered by Charlie Daly | Cinematography by Leigh Keily | Co-starring Michelle Crane | With Paul Lofthouse’s bike | Make Up by Rosie Cannon | Styling by Coralie Colmez