Beautiful Girls is a dazzling debut collection about the secret lives of girls and women. The characters who inhabit Beth Ann BaumanAs stories are the timid, the not-quite-fabulous, the public school Ophelias, who yearn for something grander than their current lot. Told with irresistible humor and remarkable grace, these stories illuminate the search for love, friendship, connection, and identity.In "True," an exquisitely shy teenage girl tries to fathom the hidden secrets of beauty from a boy whoAs "the prettiest person in the entire school." A lonely divorcAA(c)e in "Safeway," wanders the darkened aisles of a grocery store during a power outage, and becomes "certain a touch of rot had taken root in her heart...and that she still might live better." In "Wash, Rinse, Spin", a hapless young woman loses her laundry and must resort to the decrepit wardrobe she wore while working in B movies, as her dying father fades in her hometown. And in the title story, voracious girls who long for love and admiration compete in a town pageant.From the fierce bonds among sisters, to the discoveries of a girl who roams her neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning, to the allure of a tropical paradise where anything feels possible, Beautiful Girls explores what it means to be a woman in the modern world, looking for a place to call home.At once magical, tender, and wise, this book establishes Beth Ann Bauman as a bold new literary voice.