"In his latest project, Hysterical Literature, photographer Clayton Cubitt takes a beautiful woman, places her at a table in front of a black backdrop and gets her to read from her favorite book while an unseen accomplice below the table attempts to bring the woman to orgasm with a vibrator." NSFW! Stoya, girl. [Criminal Wisdom]
I adore crime fiction, especially tales from the ‘30s and ‘40s and ‘50s that fall into the noir genre, and I also love detective fiction, especially when those detectives are women. But there’s been a piece missing in my fandom for psychological thrillers, detective fiction, and noir. That’s the domestic suspense genre, which includes creepy tales of home, those who occupy home, and beyond: think “deceitful children, deranged husbands, vengeful friends, and the murderous wives they unleashed.” Sound good?
Hello! I'm excited to announce (and encourage you to buy!) the travel anthology "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having: Travel Stories From The Hairpin." It's a Kindle Serial featuring eight longform, never-before-published non-fiction stories from eight frequent Hairpin/Awl-world contributors: Carrie Frye, Jim Behrle, Maria Bustillos, Anne Helen Petersen, Chiara Atik, Nicole Cliffe, Jenna Wortham, and me. Each story takes about 10 minutes or so to read, and the whole thing costs $1.99. From the Amazon description:
Like The Hairpin, these essays are funny, weird, adventurous, and moving. There are stories about following a mysterious stranger’s maps in Mexico, attending endless step aerobics classes in Buenos Aires, faking a terrible [...]
Matt Pericoli, a creative writing professor, teaches a course called the "Laboratory of Literary Architecture," which includes an assignment to "physically build the literary architecture of a text." The Times excerpted from his students' work last week, and the results are fascinating. Here's Pericoli describing the project:
Each student brings to class a novel, a short story or an essay whose inner workings he or she knows intimately. We start with the plot, the subject or simply a feeling that the student has about the text. We break the piece of writing down into its most basic elements and analyze the relationship of each part to the overall [...]
When men write women, the results are tiresome. Reading at random, you will occasionally come across a Lisbeth Salander, a Maria Dmitryevna Akhrosimova, or a Ma Joad, a character with interiority and what feels like her own life off the page. Far too often, though, when you open up a book by a male writer—even a good male writer, and occasionally even a great male writer—you encounter ladies who are a variation on one or more of four themes: virgin, whore, mother, bitch. Sometimes, the ladies begin as one (usually "virgin") and progress through the others by the end of the book, because character development! Emma Bovary holds the distinction [...]
Success meant the heady exhilaration of cheering on the polished gym floor, the yells seeming to swing the bright hot gym up and out into the night. And so her want was intensified.
When you write a novel about cheerleaders, even a dark crime novel, two things happen: People ask you if you were ever a cheerleader (I was not) and they confide strong feelings about cheerleaders, whether it’s their own experience of failing to make the high school squad, or the ponytailed captain who broke their heart a decade ago or more. And sometimes they give you books.
Such was how I discovered Ruth Doan MacDougall’s 1973 [...]
The shift to digital text consumption has inspired certain lifestyle gurus to try out DIY Book Repurposing (the "I" standing for an "it" which is "murder"), but here's a collection of book transformations that may seem a little more felicitous. The following piece was created by an anonymous artist, and is part of the upcoming Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed (Chronicle).
One-line excerpts from The Hairpin's eight-episode travel-themed e-book ($1.99!), in no particular order. (The next episode, by the way, comes out this Tuesday, September 10. The Amazon-provided synopsis: "On a trip to Mexico, Jenna Wortham and her then-boyfriend spend a week pinballing between moments of beauty and disaster, following homemade maps, and discovering a latent lactose intolerance, in search of a fresh start." Ah, yesss.) Okay, the lines:
1. "The breast dexterity was astonishing."
2. "Maybe if Moxie was called 'Wuss Juice' I wouldn’t like it so much."
3. "Another time, during a weekend trip to Vegas, I took too much ecstasy and got lost on a casino floor, [...]
One romanticizes the idea of traveling to a distant country, but in my experience the romance-novel version of travel occurs rarely, if ever, in an ordinary person’s life. Even if one manages to plan everything out, with gorgeously tempting color brochures and guidebooks lovingly marked up in advance, the likelihood is that unforeseen circumstances will interfere with even the most carefully laid plans. Far more often, though, travel is inescapable, the result of disruptive, oppressive, [...]
Awl co-editor Choire Sicha's first book, Very Recent History, came out yesterday. Here are two wonderful interviews he did, one with Laura June at The Verge and one with Daniel D'Addario at Salon. Publishing a book, he tells June, is "kind of like when you think you’re having a deep 'private session' on Spotify and then you realize, NOPE, everyone can see you listening to Mariah Carey remixes." (Must look into this "private" setting.) It looks like Amazon is already restocking (!), but you'll want to go find a copy.