Poet and Novelist
". . . it's like if Janis Joplin wrote a novel and didn't die on us, but sang the whole damn thing. I love this writer. She's animal royalty. Her brain has teeth. In this book she makes the people talk, the bus driver, even. It's old human stuff, Chaucer, even, Francois Villon, that's right. But always as never before the writer is a brave dirty girl. The earth is her place, yet she loves the stars. It's to live, this book."
Novelist, Michelle Tea
"Crashing America gives us a misfit's view of the American landscape, a gorgeous and lonely place populated by Christian punks, lonesome housewives, tweaking teenagers, and corn farmers. Best of all, it stars a tough-talking vagabonding starry-eyed thieving innocent named Girl. She takes us on a fearless queer adventure, using a dashing slangy language all her own.
Writer and Troublemaker Mattilda Sycamore
"If you've ever gotten lost and then found your way, and gotten lost and then found your way and gotten lost (and then maybe found your way?), Crashing America gives you the road map. It's about trying to die without growing old, or trying to grow up without dying."
Poet and Novelist
"Katia Noyes writes with compelling authority. Her eye for detail and landscape extend to her 17-year-old heroine's interior, a vividly rendered region of unexpected exile and vulnerability. It's a rare, daring and poignant novel, fueled by intelligence and skill, hungry for illumination, and written in the unmistakable dialect of blood. This isn't a snapshot from the edge, but a sophisticated dissection of our country at the millennium."
D. Travers Scott
Writer and Professor
"In this impressive debut, Noyes tackles the road novel with finesse and originality. An outsider leaves the frontier to get inside -- her history, her country, her self -- and finds a heart-land of sublime desolation and quiet grandeur. In our times of rigid red or blue identities, Noyes’ mashup of bohemian and rural offers refreshingly complex shades."
Writer and Activist
"Her characters may whip about at the mercy of the elements, but Noyes is always in control of the story which, like the terrain she covers, is both delicate and hard. Katia Noyes is a fresh writer with an old soul and a perfect ear for the clipped cadence of young people trying to keep their heads above water."
"Katia Noyes does an impeccable job of delineating an age in which gender, family and country have failed us and we must invent mythologies and heroes for a new era -- perhaps at a dire cost, but with an incredible testament to strength and desire."
George Csicsery, Filmmaker
"There’s plenty of hard lesbian sex along the trail, but it would be a mistake to relegate Crashing America or its author to a lesbian porn ghetto populated by narrower and angrier talents. For every fistful of sex there’s a truckload of yearning, unquenchable teen lust, and restlessly changing targets like the loaded handgun Girl takes from Randa, the woman who draws her into a steamy summer of preparing Nebraska corn for pollination. This backbreaking toil is Girl’s first encounter with honest work, and she sucks it up as if it provided meaning in that venerable Puritan sense. She comes close to accepting that she might just belong here in the flat farmland of endless cornfields and wide skies. But the wanderlust that brought her to Nebraska has other plans. Girl and her gun have appetites larger than Nebraska’s sky."
American Booksellers Association
"A road trip in reverse: a San Francisco gutter punk travels east to the heartland, the Great Plains. Girl, the gender queer narrator, would give Kerouac a run for his money. Noyes’ story and characters are fresh, tough, and, well, very sweet, somehow..." Melissa McDonough, Cody’s Books, Berkeley, CA
"A fiercely well-written account of youth's desperation and longing for change."
"A post-gay coming-of-age story as contemporary as it is timeless."
"San Francisco writer Katia Noyes's rough-edged, gleaming first novel is a queer road trip to remember."
One of the Ten Best Gay/Lesbian Books of 2005
So I read a lot of books. (It's the best way to avoid writing, because then you can say you're researching). I just finished reading an amazing book that, unlike most books, crawled right inside of me and set up shop in the vulnerable places that I don't really like to talk about. Or acknowledge. It's called "Crashing America," by Katia Noyes, published in '05 by Alyson Books (american). It's the story of Girl, a baby-dyke gutterpunk from San Francisco. Things start to fall apart, so she goes on a road trip, looking for her place of belonging in the corn fields of Nebraska, ghost towns of South Dakota, and sugar-daddy houses in the South. Stranger rides into town, stranger rides out of town. It's full of ache and longing, doing fucked-up things for the right reasons or maybe the wrong ones. Trying to figure out the difference. Her hopefulness will break your heart.
The Out Traveler, Darren Frei
In literature the typical American road trip—à la Jack Kerouac’s On the Road—begins in a red state and ends in a blue. Girl, the queer street punk in Katia Noyes’s debut novel, on the other hand, approaches this intrinsic search for home in the reverse, traveling from her frantic life in San Francisco to the lonely heartland of the United States. Just off each interstate highway exit, from Utah to Nebraska to Tennessee, is another chance at belonging. Girl’s serendipitous human interactions, with characters ranging from a Salt Lake City housewife to a born-again Christian rocker, remind us that traveling isn’t about geography or gas prices—it’s about finding strangers, becoming friends, and then leaving them behind. —D.F.