Ilene English has created an honest, intimate, fascinating memoir in which she celebrates the free-spirited, lusty, musical, and spiritual side of the ‘60s—as seen through the eyes of a young woman traversing the smoke-filled clubs of San Francisco when Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis played there, late-night chess sessions of musicians and intellectuals, rock concerts in Hawai’i, and farming communes in Oregon. Along the way, English tells a deeply personal, yet universal story of how humans struggle to find meaningful relationships that can offer both freedom and a sense of belonging.
- Kristina Rizga, Author, Mission High: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It and the Students and Teachers, Who Made It Triumph
Ilene English, a woman-warrior with a wide-open heart, was already breaking racial and sexual taboos before the flowering of the counter-culture. Her spare, candid style is the perfect vehicle to carry the reader from East-Coast to West-Coast, traditional-life to Bohemian-freedom, and ultimately to the flowering of wisdom. I so enjoyed this book.”
- Peter Coyote, actor, author, Zen Buddhist priest
Hippie Chick offers a first-hand view into an historic time period of a social and sexual revolution. With candor, insight and humor, Ilene shares intimate details of her journey through those years of her critical maturation. But even more than a window into the life of San Francisco’s counterculture, English pays tribute to the critical importance of caring mentors during the process of growth from adolescence to adulthood. That, I believe, is the true essence of her narrative and of great value in any generation. Enjoy joining her on the journey she shares.”
- Environmental activist, educator, author
For those who remember the Sixties—which began in the mid-1950s and didn’t end until the mid-1970s—and who think it was always groovy to be a “hippie chick,” Ilene English’s new memoir will provide a rude awakening. Subtitled “Coming of Age in the ‘60s,” this first-person narrative tells it like it was on the Farm in Tennessee, in Eugene, Oregon, a beehive of hippie activity, and on the hippie highway, which stretched from coast to coast. For those who don’t remember the Sixties—for whatever reason—and for those who weren’t alive then, Hippie Chick will represent it in both its dazzling and inglorious moments. Give this book, which is soaked in sisterhood, to a grandmother who lived on a commune and to a granddaughter who has probably never used expressions like “lay that on you” and “my kind of scene,” but who ought to learn them before it’s too late. For those who want to experience, vicariously, a time when hippie chicks felt “juicy and sexy,” as English says she felt, well, dig it, man.