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  • Published: 2 July 2020
  • ISBN: 9781529103199
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

How to Build a Girl

The Sunday Times Number One coming-of-age bestseller from the author of How To Be a Woman - soon to be a major motion picture.

Soon to be a major film directed by Coky Giedroyc and starring Ladybird's Beanie Feldstein as Johanna Morrigan and Game of Thrones's Alfie Allen as John Kite

My name’s Johanna Morrigan. I’m fourteen, and I’ve just decided to kill myself.

I don’t really want to die, of course! I just need to kill Johanna, and build a new girl. Dolly Wilde will be everything I want to be, and more! But as with all the best coming-of-age stories, it doesn’t exactly go to plan…

A Number One Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback, from the award-winning and Sunday Times bestselling author of How to Be a Woman.

  • Published: 2 July 2020
  • ISBN: 9781529103199
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran is the eldest of eight children, home-educated on a council estate in Wolverhampton, believing that if she were very good and worked very hard, she might one day evolve into Bill Murray.

She published a children’s novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of 16, and became a columnist at The Times at 18. She has gone on to be named Columnist of the Year six times. At one point, she was also Interviewer and Critic of the Year - which is good going for someone who still regularly mistypes ‘the’ as ‘hte’. Her multi-award-winning bestseller How to Be a Woman has been published in 28 countries, and won the British Book Awards’ Book of the Year 2011. Her two volumes of collected journalism, Moranthology and Moranifesto, were Sunday Times bestsellers, and her novel, How to Build a Girl, debuted at Number One, and is currently being adapted as a movie. She co-wrote two series of the Rose d’Or-winning Channel 4 sitcom Raised by Wolves with her sister, Caroline.

Caitlin lives on Twitter with her husband and two children, where she spends her time tweeting either about civil rights issues, or that picture of Bruce Springsteen when he was 23, and has his top off. She would like to be remembered as ‘a very sexual humanitarian’.

Also by Caitlin Moran

See all

Praise for How to Build a Girl

Brilliantly observed, thrillingly rude and laugh-out-loud funny

Helen Fielding

terrific - funny, honest and deliciously rude

Alice O'Keefe, The Bookseller

I have so much love for Caitlin Moran

Lena Dunham

Binge-read all of #HowToBuildAGirl in one sitting. Even missed supper. A first

Nigella Lawson

spirited coming of age novel romps from strength to strength…I’m a Moran fan

Lionel Shriver, The Times

She writes with breathtaking brio…Moran shows her shining soul — which is even more remarkable than her wit — when she writes about being young, looking for love and the utter vileness of the class system . . .almost every page has something on it which makes you smile, makes you sad or makes you think — often all three at once, in one sentence

Julie Burchill, The Spectator

A Portnoy's Complaint for girls… when I see this book described as "laugh-out-loud funny" I feel affronted; it could make you laugh out loud with one hand tied behind its back, while wanking itself off to fantasies of Satan. Laughing out loud is just the start

Zoe Williams, The Guardian

Rude, big-hearted, wise-cracking novel

Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times

Exuberant, funny coming-of-age tale with a highly-literate, resourceful Wolverhampton teen at its centre. As building girls goes this is one alternative instruction manual every woman should read

Daily Express

A riotous read with jokes galore cut through with lightly handled serious observations about the nature of poverty and the challenges of emerging female sexuality. It is also stunningly rude…

Sunday Express

The self-conscious agonies of precocious yet sensitive Dolly ring painfully true, while the witty sex scenes, boozy anecdotes and one-liners make this great fun…

Sunday Mirror

An entertaining read, with Moran in fine voice – hilarious, wild, imaginative and highly valuable…Moran is in danger of becoming to female masturbation what Keats was to Nightingales…

Barbara Ellen, The Observer

Moran also writes brilliantly about music, and especially about what music can do. She carries Johanna through this novel with incredible verve, extravagant candour, and a lot of heart. Johanna is … a wonderful heroine. A heroine who cares, who bravely sallies forth and makes things happen, who gives of herself, who is refreshingly unashamed. She’s so confident, it’s glorious

The Independent on Sunday

This isn’t a sleek, slick novel, but it is a rambunctious, raw-edged, silly-profound and deeply relatable guide to what your worst mistakes can teach you, and it has much to offer teenagers both actual and inner

The Independent

An exuberant coming of age novel in DMs and ripped tights


So funny it hurts. How to Build a Girl is Adrian Mole meets Fear of Flying. I predict they’ll be tears a plenty – both of laughter and excruciating recognition – on sun-loungers this summer

Harper’s Bazaar

Moran is a brilliantly funny writer, and How To Build A Girl is brimful of jokes


This very British (and very naughty) coming-of-age novel will have you in literal hysterics!


This is going to be a bestseller…A sharp, hilarious and controversial read

The Bookseller

there’s so much real feeling too. Johanna’s vulnerability and bravado, as she moves out of her world and falls in love is beautifully done’ or ‘ and running through it all, with a visceral power that most writers should envy, is the shame and grinding anxiety of being poor

Sunday Times

I laughed aloud at this funny, outrageous story of a girl from Wolverhampton council estate who reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde

Woman & Home

as irreverent, amusing and vibrant as Moran herself


rowdy and fearless ... sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways

New York Times

Ms. Moran['s] ... funny and cheerfully dirty coming-of-age novel has a hard kernel of class awareness ... sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways.

Dwight Garner, New York Times

This is going to be a bestseller…A sharp, hilarious and controversial read

The Bookseller