Part memoir, part essay collection, Megan Dunn's ingenious, moving, hilariously personal Things I Learned at Art School tells the story of her early life and coming-of-age in New Zealand in the '70s, '80s and '90s. From her parents' divorce to her Smurf collection, from the mean girls at school to the mermaid movie Splash!, from her work in strip clubs and massage parlours (and one steak restaurant) to the art school of the title, this is a dazzling, killer read from a contemporary voice of comic brilliance.
Chapters include: The Ballad of Western Barbie; A Comprehensive List of All the Girls Who Teased Me at Western Heights High School, What They Looked Like and Why They Did It; On Being a Redhead; Life Begins at Forty: That Time My Uncle Killed Himself; Good Girls Write Memoirs, Bad Girls Don't Have Time; Videos I Watched with My Father; Things I Learned at Art School; CV of a Fat Waitress; Nine Months in a Massage Parlour Called Belle de Jour; Various Uses for a Low Self-esteem; Art in the Waiting Room and Submerging Artist. Praise for Tinderbox:
"Tinderbox is deadpan hilarious and Megan Dunn is a comic genius." - Susanna Andrew, Metro "Megan Dunn's wry, whip-smart memoir about Fahrenheit 451, literary ambition & the last days of Borders Bookstores is funny & insightful as hell. Like Kathy Acker meets Sue Townsend. The read of the summer! ... already one of my favourite New Zealand books." - Hera Lindsay Bird
"Witty, highly entertaining." - Philip Matthews, Stuff"Tinderbox is such a shape-shifter, such a sui generis work, that to call it a memoir does it a disservice ... [Dunn's] voice is hard to resist – sardonic, brazen, sagacious – recalling, in places, Nora Ephron, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and Maggie Nelson." - James Cook, Review 31