PUBERTY BLUES is the biography which launched Kathy Lette's writing career and made her famous. Truth masquerades as fiction as Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey portray themselves, at thirteen years of age, as Deb and Sue in a “tell all” account of being a teenager in Sydney's beach-side suburbs during the 1970's. Through Deb and Sue, they reveal what really happened in the back of panel vans, in the drive-in, behind the local pubs, and on Cronulla Beach with the seventeen-year-old boys they were “going with”, and exactly why they borrowed the household jar of vaseline. Needless to say, their activities did not, as their parents believed, involve nursing chapped lips while staying at a girlfriend's house or seeing a film. Although the tone is upbeat and the dialogue humorous, the anecdotes they share paint a disturbing picture of the culture of adolescence -- the irrelevance of school, family, adults and laws to their lives -- and reveal just how far, and at what price, some teenagers will go to be accepted and regarded as “cool” by their peers. I highly recommend reading the new edition (2002) which also includes thought-provoking forwards by the unlikely pairing of Kylie Minogue and Germain Greer.
This report prepared by Alison