Emma Cline

On behalf of The Clegg Agency

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Photograph: Megan Cline


Associate: Seren Adams


Emma Cline has an MFA from Columbia University, works in the fiction department of the New Yorker, and was awarded the 2014 Plimpton Prize for Fiction from the Paris Review, where her fiction and essays have been published. Her debut novel, THE GIRLS, was published by Chatto & Windus in June 2016 and swiftly became a worldwide bestseller. The paperback edition of THE GIRLS was published in May 2017. Her short story 'What Can You Do With A General', originally published in The New Yorker, was currently shortlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Prize 2019.

DADDY, a story collection, was published in September 2020 by Chatto and Windus.

Praise for THE GIRLS (2016):

‘A slender, absorbing book… One of the pleasures of [The Girls] is its immediacy… Almost entirely lacking in stale period detail, the book is a trancelike accumulation of intense adolescent feelings and myopic impressions’ Telegraph ****

‘Intense, clever, beautiful… Cline’s prose [is] a joy to read. She articulates nuance and atmosphere is surprising ways, often zooming in on the unsettling detail… I found myself lingering over passages or sentences simply to relish the word choice or cadence. Indeed, the grisly acts perpetrated by the cult end up feeling strangely banal because the real drama is happening so vividly inside Evie’s head’ Sunday Times

‘The strength of The Girls lies in Cline’s ability to evoke both the textures and atmosphere of those painful in-between times; the desperate rush to fill an emotional vacuum… She is a powerful interpreter of ambiguous emotional vectors, and the catastrophic directions in which they can lead’ Guardian 

‘[A] precisely, gorgeously written reworking of the Charles Manson story… What sets the book apart is its exquisitely forensic portrait of what it is to be a young woman, craving attention and a sense of belonging’ The Scotsman 

‘[A] thoroughly seductive debut novel… Though the long-withheld climax chilled me, the less physically violent sections of the novel disturbed me much more. The Girls promises to be the novel of the summer, with good reason. Readers will down Cline’s spooky, twisted narrative in a gulp, and then they’ll go off to be with the lights on’ NPR 

‘I rather think The Girls will come to be referred to as “the Manson novel” but it is so much more than that; a beautifully written, consuming story which perfectly captures the mindset of an adolescent girl on the brink of something which she doesn’t fully understand until it is too late’ The Bookseller

‘Stunningly written, in fresh, youthful prose, expect to see The Girls on deckchairs, beach towels and best-seller lists’ Irish Independent

‘This is thought-provoking fiction, intuitive and memorable writing… The details of Evie’s teenage world jump from the page… The Girls is a debut brimming with intelligence and ideas. It is a novel less about murder, more about a deadly desire to be accepted and admired. Buy it for the Manson-esque plot but savour it for its insights’ Irish Times

The Girls is gorgeous, disquieting and really, really good… [Cline’s] prose conveys a kind of atmospheric dread, punctuated by slyly distilled observation, not unlike the early cinematic style of Roman Polanski, whose wife, actress Sharon Tate, was killed by the Manson family… By far the strongest writing comes when Cline limns the nearly exquisite boredom and anticipation of early adolescence… [The Girls] feels urgent and fresh… Cline, born years after the events she explores, brings a fresh and discerning eye to both the specific, horrific crime at her book’s center, one firmly located in a time and place, and the timeless, slow-motion tragedy of a typical American girlhood’ Los Angeles Times 





Publication DetailsNotes

Chatto and Windus

The stories in Emma Cline's stunning first collection consider the dark corners of human experience, exploring the fault lines of power between men and women, parents and children, past and present. A man travels to his son's school to deal with the fallout of a violent attack and to make sure his son will not lose his college place. But what exactly has his son done? And who is to blame? A young woman trying to make it in LA, working in a clothes shop while taking acting classes, turns to a riskier way of making money but will be forced to confront the danger of the game she's playing. And a family coming together for Christmas struggle to skate over the lingering darkness caused by the very ordinary brutality of a troubled husband and father.

These outstanding stories examine masculinity, male power and broken relationships, while revealing - with astonishing insight and clarity - those moments of misunderstanding that can have life-changing consequences. And there is an unexpected violence, ever-present but unseen, in the depiction of the complicated interactions between men and women, and families. Subtle, sophisticated and displaying an extraordinary understanding of human behaviour, these stories are unforgettable.


Chatto & Windus

California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life...

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?