Can you diagram a sentence? I definitely cannot, and Madame DuMott, third grade grammar enforcer, would kill me if she knew. Pop Chart Lab went ahead and did the work for a collection of opening lines of notable novels, including Pride and Prejudice. They're nice to look at, even if sentence mapping isn't in your skill set:
Lovely, stylish, very clean person Jolie Kerr has a book out Tuesday from Plume, and we are very excited, not least because Jolie got her cleanliness-writing start right here at The Hairpin. My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha is precisely what it sounds like, a cohesive, informative, and fun compendium to help you reduce filth of all shapes, sizes, and proteins without judgment. New York-area folks: Mark your calendars for the book launch, moderated by Hairpin writer Bobby Finger, at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn on Wednesday, February 26.
I talked to Jolie about how the column got [...]
For someone not in the MFA Universe, novelist and Hairpin pal Emma Straub's description of the writer Lorrie Moore—"She’s a bit of a goddess, sort of like the Stevie Nicks of the M.F.A. universe: beautiful, mysterious, magical"—doesn't quite register, but dear lord is it ever something to aspire to, anyway. In this mini profile, Moore describes writing as a "form of insanity": "How a novel finishes, is there’s a moment when you know it has problems, and you don’t know how to fix them. That’s when you’re done." Oh, just like that. Moore's new story collection, Bark, is out next week. [NYT [...]
At Bookforum, Natasha Vargas-Cooper's argument for prioritizing nonfiction over fiction in high school English classes—"just maybe the novel is not the best device for transmitting ideas, grand themes, to hormonal, boisterous, easily distracted, immature teenagers"—begins with: "It wasn’t until my second reading of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, over a decade after it first had been assigned to me by my public high school English teacher, that I understood that Jake’s dick didn’t work." GO ON. [Bookforum]
INTERNAL PUBLISHING MEMO
In light of the success of French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure and its follow-up French Women Don't Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style and Attitude, the series will be expanded in 2015 with the following titles:
Older Danish Women Don't Mind Looking Leathery: The Secret to Having 5 weeks paid Vacation Days and Virtually No Melanin
With a charming blend of Nordic wit and insight, Lærke Pederson observes that Americans live in the only highly developed country that doesn't require employers to provide paid vacation time. This, Pederson explains, is why American women are so pale and sad.
Italian Women Don't Tiger Mom Their Boys: [...]
"That was a friend who emailed me. I hadn’t talked to him in a while, and he wrote and said: 'Hey, how are you? San Fran’s great, I’m seeing a new lady, and I want to impress her with a clean bong.'"
—We'll have more with Clean Person Jolie Kerr on the site next week, but please tide yourself over with her Q&A in the New York Times (!) today. My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is due out next Tuesday, and she and Bobby Finger will be chatting at Brooklyn's Powerhouse Arena next Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Details [...]
My best Valentine’s Day occurred years ago, in high school, when I made a cake for my then-boyfriend that said “Happy V.D.” on it. (I thought it was hilarious, so did he. Neither of us, for the record, had an STD). That V.D. was followed by many, many other Valentine's Days, all fine, good, decent, whatever, that I don’t really remember too terribly much about at all, because nothing much happened on those Valentine’s Days aside from going to dinner or not going to dinner with a date or boyfriend or not. I remember a cheeseburger with bacon; that was good.
If we’re talking worst Valentine’s Days, however, the worst [...]
Darlene was a pretty, blond 19-year-old with a 10-month-old baby girl whom she wheeled into my office in a ragged umbrella stroller. Darlene, the baby, and the baby’s father, Keith, had been living with Keith’s parents in a row house in northeast Philly. Keith and Darlene apparently argued a lot, and one day, during a fight about Darlene’s wanting Keith to watch the baby so she could go out with her girlfriends, Keith put his hands around Darlene’s neck and tried to choke her. Darlene had filed in court for and received a protection order to keep Keith away from her and the baby. Keith, in response, had turned around [...]
In 2006, Christina Bryza was working in publishing, reading children’s books daily as part of her job. She found herself envious of how those pithy picture books could take a complex problem, deconstruct and decipher it, and tie so many life questions up with a solution by the end. Reading them, she says, “You’d learn something, but you wouldn’t necessarily know you learned something, you’d just feel better.” Not completely fulfilled by her post-grad 9-to-5, nor her dating life, she wanted something like that for herself, a friendly, handy explainer of modern adult life. She jotted down some notes, comparing P.D. Eastman’s classic kids book Are You My Mother? to [...]
Freelance writer Sara Eckel, the author of the recent, fantastic Modern Love column, "The Hard-Won Lessons of the Solitary Years," has a new book out: It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. It comes with a self-help designation, but its message is really more like “self-compassion.” That’s an expression Sara uses to talk about the way unmarried women in their 30s and beyond (and, really, all women, regardless of age or marital status) should treat themselves. It’s a message we could all use a reminder of now and again. Especially in January.