When last October I began talking to friends about Ten Thousand Saints, I got in the habit of starting with a question: “Do you know about the straight edge scene?”
The answer, invariably, was No.
Undoubtedly, this lack of awareness can be pinned on my bookish, Portland-centric social circles, at least in part. No matter, eight months later, most conversations about Eleanor Henderson’s debut include a brief tutorial on the boys and bands that spawned a movement three decades ago in response to the drugs and drinking and generally hedonistic tendencies associated with punk music.
Now, as glowing reviews greet the novel’s publication — on the heels of a New York Times Book Review feature, Vogue and Entertainment Weekly have joined the joyous chorus I’m starting to wonder whether “straight edge” might finally enter the mainstream vernacular.